In April 2016, German law enforcement raided a cellar in Rülzheim and several locations in Baden-Württemberg. The media caught on and asked questions. Investigators then reported that the arrests pertained to a group behind “Germany’s biggest illegal web shop for narcotics.” Now the entire group in the Chemical Love case received sentences, save for one.
Chemical Love was, as prosecutors said, one of Germany’s largest online drug marketplaces. The group sold drugs on both the clearnet and darknet. But, perhaps for those without knowledge of the entire situation, the arrest of the former football player Walter Kelsch stood out the most. The big name during the sentencing, though, was that of Walter Kelsch’s son.
The once-famed football player’s son, “Kelsch Junior,” led the drug trafficking group, prosecutors said. The prosecution explained how the Chemical Love leader sold cocaine, hashish, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. Chemical Love saw 2,200 deliveries between January 2015 and April 2016. The total number of bitcoins earned from online drug sales is unknown. The prosecution estimated a figure, regardless. And not all of the Chemical Love revenue came from the darknet, but even the clearnet sales involved Bitcoin.
Alexander Fassel, the prosecutor for the state, took the fluctuating Bitcoin value into consideration during the 30-year-old’s sentencing. The defendant is to pay “ten million euros to the state fund – the presumed proceeds of the drugs in the Internet currency Bitcoins plus the intermediate value increase,” Fassel explained. The prosecutor also ordered that the junior of the Kelsch men leave his Maserati with the court.
He received nearly the length of imprisonment asked for by the prosecutor:
“Head of the gang and son of former football proffi Walter Kelsch must be in jail for 14 years and ten months. Thus, the court remains just under the demand of the prosecutor’s office of 15 years and six months. The two co-defendants and brothers Denis T. and Rene L. each received seven years and three months.”
The two brothers, 31-years-old Denis T. and 32-years-old Rene L. played a lesser role in the Chemical Love saga. According to the court, the two functioned as drug runners, even though law enforcement found the massive cache of drugs in the cellar of one of their homes. The stockpile consisted of “54 kilograms of amphetamines, four kilograms of heroin, 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, and 25,000 ecstasy pills.”
And, due to the fraud cases filed against him—at least three cases confirmed by the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office and five separate accusations confirmed by a local. Two of his associates detailed the fraud; one associate lost more than $100,000 and the other lost roughly $200,000. Law enforcement appears more concerned, now, with the fraud than with Kelsch senior’s Chemical Love crimes. The prosecution accused him of transporting drugs for his son on three separate occasions—nothing more.
Walter Kelsch’s case may not even be fully investigated by the end of the year.