It is always interesting to see convicted criminals plea for a reduced sentence. Darknet vendors are no different in this regard, as Neil Mannion wants to cooperate with law enforcement to get out of jail quicker. His partner, Richard O’ Connor, is looking for a similar deal, as both men feel they “cooperated in every possible way”.
Both of these darknet vendors were sentenced to 3 and 6 years jail time respectively in December of 2015. After a thorough investigation, police officials apprehended both suspects on charges of drug trafficking. During the raid, they also seized a lot of narcotics. At that time, Mannion admitted he was the “mastermind” of the operation, while O’Connor handled all of the logistics.
Lending A Helping Hand During The Investigation
Their narcotics sales mostly took place on the Agora and Silk Road marketplaces, both of which are well-known among deep web users. At the time of the arrest, this was big news in Ireland, as this was the first darknet-related conviction in the country. Ever since, the pace has been picked up by law enforcement agencies, as they continue to crack down on illegal activity.
The reason for their arrest came from a somewhat unexpected angle, as an informant tipped off the police about these men’s action. This information somehow obtained the IP address the business was run from and handed that over to local law enforcement agents. During the investigation, Mannion’s car was followed to this address, and they obtained enough |probable cause” for a search warrant.
What is rather interesting is how both men had a particular spot where they would sell their drugs. Cannabis Resin, LSD, and Amphetamine was packed up and ready to be sold at the Bank House Business Center. But the real shocking part was how both individuals had a clean criminal record before this arrest. Up until now, it remains unclear as to what motivated these gentlemen to venture into the darknet drug business.
At the same time, that fact is not entirely surprising. Until 2013 and 2014, online drug sales were hardly ever reported to law enforcement officials. Ever since the deep web gained more traction, that situation has changed, and multiple arrests have been carried out. Agencies need to become more familiar with how these vendors and marketplaces operate, though.
This is why O’Connor and Mannion want to see their jail sentences reduced. During the investigation, they aided law enforcement officials with explaining how these marketplaces worked, and why they could remain anonymous. Such a form of collaboration should be, in their eyes at last, worth something in return.
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