Michael Andrew Ryan, was sentenced in June of this year for his international online firearms dealing business on the dark net. He used the screen name “Gunrunner”. He sold everything from Glocks and High-Points to Uzis and Walthers. He sold his firearms online, but not before removing serial numbers. This makes the weapons more difficult, but not impossible to trace.
He ran his business from his home in Manhattan, Kansas where ATF orchestrated the take down.
“The fact that international firearms trafficking has reached Kansas shows the power of the internet,” Thom Beall, Acting US Attorney said in a statement.
In order to get a lesser sentence, Ryan agreed to come clean to everything. He told the court he sold weapons on a hidden marketplace; Black Market Reloaded. He’s now facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and up to $250,000 fine. Ryan is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12th.
A bust of an Alabama man, 48-year-old Michael Focia in November, closely resembles Ryan’s case. Focia is facing 51 months of hard time for selling above 32 guns on the dark net. Focia also sold weapons all over the world.
“Focia sold at least 32 firearms to people all over the world, including Australia and Sweden,” a release from the US attorney’s office stated.
According to a study done by a Carnegie Mellon University professor, the illegal sale of firearms and weapons only makes up less than 3% of the trading that happens on dark net.