Dark web gun fantasist pleads guilty

2 minute read

Posted by: DeepDotWeb

September 10, 2015

According to a press release fron the UK national crime agency – A Milton Keynes man who concocted an elaborate story to purchase a gun from the dark web today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a firearm and ammunition at Bristol Crown Court.

Darren Hillyer, aged 38, posed as a woman aiming to exact revenge on a paedophile ex-lover. Hillyer ordered a Luger LC9 9mm handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition from an account on a dark web forum under the guise of ‘Emma’.

He was unaware that the package he was due to receive was in fact a plastic replica hidden inside a DAB radio which was under the control of officers from the National Crime Agency.

Hillyer had contacted 47 year-old Ian MacPhee, from Newton Abbot, Devon, who he had met online in a chat room but had never met in person, and convinced him to receive the package and forward it to him.

As MacPhee entered a post office in Newton Abbott unaware of what was in the parcel, NCA Officers moved in and arrested him on the morning of 28 July.

After tracing the forwarding address, officers arrested Hillyer later that afternoon at an insolvency company in Euston,London, where he worked as an IT manager.

When officers spoke to Hillyer’s colleagues they described him as a ‘fantasist’ and a ‘Walter Mitty type character’. They said he claimed that he that worked for the intelligence and security services who had issued him a gun.

Under interview Hillyer also claimed his activity on the dark web was part of research to help him apply to join the NCA.

Hillyer and MacPhee appeared at Bristol Crown Court on 10 September 2015, with Hillyer pleading guilty to conspiracy to import a firearm and ammunition. MacPhee pled guilty to attempting to evade the duty on an imported item.

The pair are due to be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on 30 October.

Peter Vernon, senior investigating officer for the NCA, said:

“People looking to obtain illicit goods and services under the supposed anonymity of the dark web continue to discover that they can in fact be traced and identified.

“It would appear Hillyer was trying to live out a fantasy but attempting to buy a firearm in the real world has real life consequences.

“The NCA will continue to collaborate with our national and international partners to prevent and disrupt serious cyber-enabled criminality.”

Updated: 2015-09-10