A German court sentenced a man to three years in prison after the police found Nazi memorabilia and more than 50 weapons in his room. The man had spent over a decade in near-complete isolation from the outside world.
Two Hanover residents were sentenced on Wednesday after police discovered a collection of weapons and several Nazi-era items in their apartment. The arsenal included 50 functioning weapons, a launcher for an anti-tank grenade, and about 3,650 rounds of ammunition. The police also found approximately €100,000 ($110,000) in cash as well as Nazi medals and flags.
The court handed a three-year prison term to the 30-year-old gun collector and a seven-month suspended sentence to the man's father for violating German gun laws.
During the trial, the man admitted to breaking the weapons laws but denied any intention of violence. The money, according to the defendant, was obtained legally through Bitcoin trade. Investigators also discovered no plans for violent offenses or other criminal acts.
Father delivered weapons
In his ruling, judge Patrick Gerberding also took the defendant's physical state into account — the man weighed 250 kilograms (551 pounds) at the time of his arrest. The defendant's obesity would make it very difficult to commit a violent attack, the judge said.
The man has ordered weapons in his father's name and to his grandmother's address. His father would them pick them up and transport them to their apartment. The 53-year-old father failed to check if the collection included functioning weapons, according to the court.
'Fortress against the outside world'
The weapons trove was discovered after German authorities set up a fake weapons sale on the Darknet, prompting the son to establish contact. Police then discovered the defendants' address and raided the apartment.
All of the weapons were found stockpiled in the 30-year-old's room. Authorities said that his blinds were glued to the window panes. During the trial, the court heard that the man had lived in near-complete social isolation for almost 11 years, spending 20 hours a day in front of his computer screen.
"His room was a fortress against the outside world," judge Gerberding said in his statement on the ruling.
"The defendant found it a worthy goal to own a large number of weapons — partly as a demonstration of power," the judge said.
According to the findings, the 30-year-old's social isolation started after his parents divorced and he moved in with his father. He was also bullied at school for being overweight. Authorities also discovered the defendant was a fan of a blog spreading fake news and extremist content.
dj/se (AP, AFP)