Allen Kennedy, a 31-year-old man, formally with the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) has pleaded guilty to trying to purchase a gun together with ammunition and a silencer on the dark web.

He is due to go on trial on the 14th of this month for drug and ammunition charges.

Mr. Kennedy on Friday pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a 9mm pistol, 60 rounds of ammunition and a silencer.

The former PSNI officer, who had Strandtown police station as his address, also admitted to possessing 102 grams of cocaine with the intention to supply.

Kennedy’s arrest came back in 2016 when he was arrested on the 5th of September after an operation by the police in Belfast. The police apprehended him in Annadale Embankment in the southern part of the city after he had handed over an amount of £500 to receive a package. He then resigned from the PSNI, but he had already received a suspension on a different matter.

An additional eight charges related to the ammunition, drug and firearm offenses was asked to be “left on the books in the usual terms” by a prosecution team.

A probation report was also to be prepared towards a plea and hearing sentencing next month at the request of the judge.

However, no application for bail was made leading to Kennedy being remanded back into custody at the Maghaberry prison by the judge.

Details on the information regarding the drug and gun offenses were rather not available in court on Friday. However, the charges relating to that particular subject was revealed to be “involvement in trying to buy a firearm and ammunition over the internet” in a previous court hearing.

Evidence provided to the court revealed that Kennedy, a then serving constable was detained during an undercover operation of which its results was the seizure of quantities of cocaine hidden in tins.

Reports from a detective constable at that time stated that Kennedy had used the dark web to buy a Russian pistol silencer and ammunition. The investigators also uncovered messages on his phone which drew the attention of the authorities to the fact that, Kennedy could be in the narcotics business. Two of his properties were also raided as part of the investigation with the police seizing bags which are mostly used for drug dealings.

Drugs which were hidden in tins of drinks and WD-40 oil spray cans were also uncovered when the police searched his vehicle.

Further reports in the court revealed that, in one of Kennedy’s bedrooms, the police found ecstasy pills and cannabis, more drug-related paraphernalia, price lists, ammunition and documents linked to the use of the dark web.

A detective who was opposing bail told the court that “the attempt to acquire a silencer would indicate someone planning to use the pistol,” insinuating that, Kennedy’s only intentions for obtaining a gun was for criminal purposes.

“With his ability on the dark web, he would be able to purchase a passport quite easily,” he added.

Adrian Harvey, his defense attorney at that time, on the other hand, insisted on bail stating that, since his client was remanded in custody, Kennedy is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He indicated throughout the interview that he was attempting to purchase this weapon to commit suicide,” Adrian Harvey stated.

He continued by saying that: “He’s still a member of the PSNI without having been subject to disciplinary proceedings which are inevitable due to his arrest.”

The court was provided with further information that the PSNI officer was a cocaine addict who admitted to only using the dark web to purchase the substances rather than risk himself being caught by approaching a dealer on the streets.

“His arrest would be described as a sting operation. The person he was contacting on the dark web was a police officer, and the person he met to purchase the firearm was an undercover officer,” his lawyer added.

The judge, however, was having none of what Adrian Harvey, Kennedy’s defense attorney was saying. He went ahead to refuse bail and stated that Kennedy was a “close involvement in an area of technology most of us have no understanding of – this so-called darknet where I’m told it’s easy to disappear with the benefit of false identification.”

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