Neil Mannion and Richard O’Connor were jailed in 2014 for distributing drugs via the Agora and Silk Road marketplaces. Both Irishmen cooperated with the prosecution after their arrest, revealing details about the darknet and bitcoin. For this cooperation, one of the men requested a sentence reduction. The appeal was finally heard in court and subsequently denied.
Both Mannion and O’Connor were arrested for their roles in the two-man operation. However, the two were not treated as equals in terms of sentencing. Mannion took full responsibility for the online aspect of the operation. O’Connor, however, only packaged and shipped the drugs and received a semi-fixed income in return.
During the initial hearing, Judge Martin Nolan sentenced the men according to their role in the operation. Judge Nolan sentenced Mannion to six-and-a-half years in prison for being “the brains of the operation.” O’Connor was sentenced only to three-and-a-half years. The less-harsh sentencing for O’Connor was majorly based on the fact that the man only followed Mannion’s instructions.
Mannion’s legal team filed the appeal to reduce the sentenced prison time because of what they believed to be an “unjustifiable disparity” between the men’s sentences.
“Both men pleaded guilty to possession of LSD, Amphetamine, and Cannabis