An officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been jailed for more than five years on the grounds of buying illegal guns and drugs from dark web markets.
Allen Kennedy, a 31-year-old officer, is also alleged to have possessed class A drugs that he intended to distribute to darknet users.
Kennedy is accused of using the dark web to access his clients and buy a 9mm pistol with a silencer, along with some rounds of ammunition.
It is not yet clear what the gun was intended to be used for, but speculations are that he was obtaining the firearm to facilitate and protect his drug-dealing business.
According to a report in the public domain, Kennedy had been communicating with a gun dealer for some time. Little did he know that he was buying the gun from an undercover agent preparing to arrest him.
In addition to the gun-related allegations, it is also alleged that he had been selling and buying different hard drugs from dark web markets for some time.
At the time of arrest, Kennedy was serving on-duty, which complicated the case in all angles.
An undercover agent arranged a meeting with Kennedy after agreeing to the sale terms and exchange location.
Kennedy gave an upfront payment of around $300, which he placed inside a folded newspaper on a nearby table.
After the undercover agent collected the cash, they arranged the exchange of the gun later on the same day at a place around the Annadale Embankment area.
According to the involved officers, everything was set to arrest Kennedy if he showed up and attempted to complete the transaction.
On that day as planned, Kennedy did appear at the location with his remaining payment for the gun he had requested. On meeting, the officer presented the gun with the silencer and other products as the two had discussed.
Kennedy confirmed the package and was pleased with the delivery where he decided to pay the remaining balance of about $250. This confirmed the exchange, and the two parted ways.
Within no time, police surrounded the scene to prevent Kennedy from running away and destroying the evidence as captured.
Kennedy was then arrested as officers on the scene thoroughly searched his car for further evidence. In the vehicle, they were able to find cocaine and other drugs along with a mobile phone.
It is also alleged that Kennedy has carried out a similar attempt to buy a gun and silencer back a few years ago where he met with an undercover agent in Belfast.
On the arrest of the suspect, the police conducted a series of raids on Kennedy’s home to see if anything would be found to help file a case against him.
Among the drugs confiscated in the residence included ecstasy pills, cannabis and related paraphernalia. Also in the house was found a price list of drugs for sale and documents containing vital information that was used on the dark web.
According to the investigators, the street value of the drugs seized was around $10,000.
On a further search in the building, the police were able to find 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition which they assert was used to protect Kennedy’s operation. The exhibits collected from Kennedy’s house made the case against him concrete for a court hearing.
During the hearing of his case, Kennedy admitted to most of the offenses he had been charged with, including being in possession of 30 grams of cocaine, 50 diazepam tablets and 10 grams of amphetamines in his residence.
He also admitted to destroying evidence in a 2015 drug-related case in which he deliberately crashed his car and subsequently set it on fire.
The judge at the Downpatrick Courthouse listened carefully to the case as presented by the investigators, and ultimately decided to sentence Kennedy to jail for more than five years for the crime committed intentionally.
He is to spend five years and six months in prison, and five years and six months on license.
According to the judge, the obstruction of justice charge (for attempting to destroy evidence) alone is a crime punishable by a life sentence imprisonment.
In a press release about he sentencing, officials from the Police Service of Northern Ireland are cited warning other drug traffickers operating in the corridors of the dark web.
The police department is currently boosting its efforts to crack down on the illegal trading of drugs and guns in the area.
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