Michael Andrew Ryan, of Manhattan, Kansas plead guilty to six counts of attempting to export firearms illegally from the United States to individuals across the globe, as it was announced by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell and Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall.
Ryan, who is 35 will have his sentencing set on Sept. 12th, 2016.
“With a computer and an internet connection, Ryan hosted an international arms trafficking business on the dark web, peddling firearms and ammunition throughout the world. Criminals of all stripes take advantage of technological advances to further their crimes and attempt to avoid identification and arrest. In this case, thanks to the hard work of the prosecutors and law enforcement officers involved, we were able to shut down dangerous criminal activity and secure the defendant’s conviction, but we must remain vigilant to ensure that law enforcement retains the necessary capabilities to keep up with criminals,” Caldwell stated.
“The fact that international firearms trafficking has reached Kansas shows the power of the internet. This prosecution shows our law enforcement efforts are working,” Attorney Beall added.
Ryan had admitted to using a dark net marketplace to sell his illegal drugs and weapons, and unlawfully attempted to export firearms from the U.S. to Ireland, England, Scotland, and Australia. As part of his plea he admitted to attempting to export a Beretta 9mm handgun, Taurus .38 special, a 15 round, 9mm clip, 32 rounds of 9mm ammo, one .380 round, and 41 rounds of .40 caliber ammo to Cork, Ireland alone.
A post on reddit made by Gwern, a well-known dark net researcher, outs Ryan as being ‘weaponsguy’ from the Agora Marketplace. In the post, Gwern points out all the similarities to the weaponsguy bust, and the information released about Ryan’s bust so far. He also points out irregularities between the Australian information given, as well as the information released by the U.S. Government.