In December 2018, two men from the Northern Ireland were put behind the bars for trying to purchase two semi-automatic handguns from the undercover police officers via the dark web (Darknet firearms). The two men were a part of the convicts of sting operation performed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that was targeted Carrickfergus gang feuds between December 2016 and January 2017. The PSNI believes that the firearms were to be used in the South East Antrim in the loyalist feud.
The trial of the duo started in October after one year of custody. Both the Anterim men were found guilty of their involvement in the plot to acquire darknet firearms through the shadow web. A 42 year old resident of Doagh, Thomas Morgan was pleaded guilty of attempting to possess firearms to permit other person to cause harm or fear to an individual. Another 23 year old man who is a resident of Newtownabbey, named Darren Bennett was also found guilty of attempting to possess two firearms (Glock pistols) and 20 rounds of ammunition along with MDMA and Cocaine. A third man was found to have connections with the case was arrested along with the conspirator. Scott Colin McMurran, a 26 year old man was dubbed as the money man was found guilty for facilitating Bennett with more than £1,900 that was utilized in purchasing illegal drugs.
The judge of the case, Desmond Marrinan has sentenced Bennett and Morgan 20 months of imprisonment along with an additional 28 months on liscenced parole. A 30 months extra sentence was given to Bennett for possessing drugs. McMurran was freed after 18 months of probation with a maximum of 100 hours of the community service for 12 months. The undercover officers were praised for their work and not letting the firearms get into wrong hands.