In January 2016, police searched a storeroom in Herford and a sports nutrition store in Bielefeld. In addition to around 10,000 euros in cash, they seized a large number of doping substances and laboratory equipment. Two men from Bielefeld and Hiddenhausen have now admitted in front of the Bielefeld Regional Court that they have carried out a flourishing trade with the illegal substances.
The products traded by Ulrich T. (32) and the one year older Jonas J. (names of all affected persons changed) were mainly anabolic steroids. The men obtained these from Lithuania and offered them for sale via a website – the server was located in Panama. There the last 600 customers ordered the goods, which the buyers paid in advance either by means of the crypto currency Bitcoin or by foreign bank transfer to an account set up for this purpose in Poland. In addition, Ulrich T. also sold part of the goods in the sports nutrition shop he ran in Bielefeld.
“The whole thing had started in 2014”, said Jonas J. in the trial before the XXI Great Criminal Chamber of the Regional Court, “at first not much happened yet. But by the end of 2015, business boomed suddenly.” Initially, the defendants had dispatched the orders from J.’s domestic cellar. “But then we needed more storage space at some point,” the 33-year-old man from Hiddenhausen put on record. A friend of Ulrich T.’s rented a storage room in Herford, which he made available to them. This man, too, was initially co-defendant, but the proceedings against him were suspended for a sum of 1,000 euros.
At the end of 2015, police officers made two sham purchases via the defendant’s website on the basis of an anonymous tip. On 21 January, investigators finally searched Ulrich T.’s shop and the Herford storeroom. The value of the doping substances seized amounted to several hundred thousand euros. In court, Jonas J. was shocked by the fluctuating quality of the goods they offered: “When I saw the laboratory report in the file, I was shocked. It contained active substances that should not have been contained at all. Others, on the other hand, lacked the desired substances.” According to J., their Lithuanian source had assured them of consistent quality: “We had relied on that.
Now the two defendants, who have not yet been convicted, face a prison sentence, the execution of which may no longer be suspended. In addition, they are confronted with demands from the tax authorities: The defendants are to pay around 77,000 euros as back taxes.