Public Prosecution Service demands 9.5 years in prison in major criminal case involving drug labs

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Public Prosecution Service demands 9.5 years in prison in major criminal case involving drug labs

The Public Prosecution Service on Thursday demanded a 9.5-year prison sentence against a 35-year-old suspect from Velp, who, together with two others, allegedly led a criminal drug lab organization that focused on the large-scale production of hard drugs.

According to the judiciary, the triumvirate financed all criminal activities: ‘Without the significant investments of these leaders, there would be no production of hard drugs. As the leader, the suspect himself was ‘safe’ at home or at a ‘safe distance’ from where it actually happened and was hardly at risk of being caught.’

Management role

According to the Public Prosecution Service, the 35-year-old main suspect had an organizing, financing and directing role in the production of synthetic drugs in drug labs in Didam, Ghent and Wildervank, according to the telephone taps, observations, camera images, location data from telephones and the intercepted crypto communications from both Sky ECC as EncroChat.

Preparatory actions

In addition, he committed a wide range of preparatory acts in various places: setting up a drug lab in Deventer and operating various stash locations (including in Ede, Borculo and Loil) and arranging hardware and chemicals intended for the production of synthetic drugs.

Minnow

The Elrits process involves preparatory work for and running a network of (synthetic) drug labs in Didam, Wildervank, and Ghent and storage locations in Ede, Loil and Borculo. The suspects also had plans to set up even more drug labs at specific locations in Midlaren and Haarle, but this preparatory work was frustrated because, among other things, the neighbors raised the alarm.

Some labs were already in operation, others were still in the preparatory or constructive phase. For example, a large drug lab in Deventer was jointly built and dismantled a few days before production was to start, because discovery was feared. According to the National Dismantling Facility (LFO), production had taken place in the drug lab in Wildervank on an ‘industrial scale’.

‘Gas it up’

The Public Prosecution Service about the criminal drug organization: ‘The triumvirate had very grand plans to work together: multiple locations, Mexicans, the production of many kilos of amphetamine and investments of more than a hundred thousand. “Put on the gas,” the suspects said to each other in the spring of 2020. Agreements were made about investments, arranging boilers, chemicals, personnel, locations and the distribution of the proceeds.’

At a distance

The main suspect invoked his right to remain silent at a hearing on Thursday and denies that he is the user of one Sky and two EncroChat accounts. However, according to the Public Prosecution Service, it is indeed the suspect who sent many messages via those accounts, showing that he, from a distance, had an important organizing and directing role in the search for, building and operating drug labs.

Earlier this month, the Public Prosecution Service demanded hefty prison sentences for the other two main suspects: 6.5 years for a 35-year-old Zwolle resident and 8.5 years for a 37-year-old suspect from Deventer. The former was not involved in the drug lab in Ghent.

Fifteen suspects

The main suspect who had to answer on Thursday is the last of fifteen suspects who appeared before the judge this month, spread over several days, in the Elrits drug lab trial. In addition to the prison sentence, the Public Prosecution Service believes that the Velp resident must repay more than 190,000 euros that he unlawfully obtained through drug production. The other two main suspects must hand over their bitcoins from the Public Prosecution Service or pay an amount of 168,000 euros in unlawfully obtained benefits to the State.

The court will rule on all cases on May 31.

Also see:

Main suspects in major drug case at large

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