Former police officer jailed for trying to buy gun on ‘dark web’

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A former police officer has been given an 11-year sentence at Downpatrick Crown Court for attempting to buy a firearm on the ‘dark web’ as well as drugs offences.

Allen Kennedy, 31, formerly of Strandtown PSNI Station, has been ordered to spend five and half years in prison and the same term on licence.

He pleaded guilty in October to attempted possession of a handgun, silencer and ammunition. He also pleaded guilty to numerous drugs possession charges relating to cannabis, MDMA and cocaine, and a previous charge of perverting the course of justice.

Kennedy was arrested in March 2014 for offences relating to perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office and was suspended from duty as a PSNI officer.

During his suspension he was involved in the purchase of drugs and drug paraphernalia and attempted to purchase a 9mm pistol, a silencer and 10 rounds of ammunition.

For some of these purchases he used the ‘dark web’ and in particular the ‘dark net’ to access different sites.

Kennedy’s activities were investigated covertly by the PSNI, during which they observed him hand over £500 for a package which he thought contained the gun and ammunition.

A search of a vehicle driven by Kennedy uncovered a drinks tin and a WD40 tin containing a total of 13 dealer bags of cocaine.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, of the PSNI’s Cyber Crime Centre, said: “This case and the sentence handed down today continues to show our commitment to keep drugs and firearms off the streets of NI.

“Those intent on criminal activity should know that even with the perceived anonymity of activity on the ‘dark web’, we will continue to pursue criminals in whatever quarter they operate to keep people safe.

“We will continue working with the Public Prosecution Service in order to bring criminals using the cyber world to carry out their illegal acts before the courts.”