After falling into a trap set by undercover officers on the darknet, for PSNI officer Allan Kennedy will be spending the next 5.5 years behind bars. He admitted attempting to purchase a 9mm pistol and silencer from the undercover officer. After his arrest, police discovered evidence that indicated the former police officer had been selling drugs—another crime Kennedy pleaded guilty to committing.
Authorities in Belfast conducted a sting operation on September 5, 2017. The undercover officer from the darknet had arranged a meeting between the PSNI officer and the darknet “weapons vendor,” citing the need for an in-person meeting to exchange cash and goods. After handing over roughly $670 (£500), officers arrested him for the gun, a silencer he had also attempted to purchase, and 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
The police then searched his car and discovered cocaine and mobile devices containing messages describing an intent to distribute the cocaine. At a later house search, police found 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 30g of cocaine, 50 diazepam tablets and 10g of class C amphetamine. Police said the seized drugs had a street value of $10,000 or more.
During his hearing at Downpatrick Crown Court, the judge told the former officer that he had told “lie after lie” in order to cover up his crimes. And although the defendant claimed, originally, that he had attempted to purchase the gun in an effort to commit suicide, the judge rejected those claims. The silencer, the judge said, indicated otherwise. “You intended to purchase it ready for using it, and when, the occasion arose,” the judge said. “It was accepted that you were a user of class A drugs and were supplying others in order to feed your habit.” He added, “it was accepted you should be treated as a commercial supplier of drugs.”
During the raids that followed the weapon arrest, police officers found, in addition to the various illegal substances mentioned above, documents that contained drug price lists and information that connected the man to the darknet. In court, the prosecution revealed records of the communication between the former officer and the undercover officer who had brought him down. The court had no doubt that Kennedy had committed the assorted crimes on his charge sheet. His guilty pleas helped eliminate any further doubt.
Kennedy said that he wanted to take his own life due to the punishments he faced in a separate case for perverting the course of justice. In 2014, he had crashed his car in Bangor and then deliberately set the car ablaze. But Kennedy had told the darknet vendor (read: undercover officer) that he needed the gun and ammunition to be “clean and untraceable.” The judge asked why anyone would need a clean and untraceable gun to commit suicide.
Kennedy will spend 5.5 years in prison and another 5.5 years on the government’s leash upon release.