A Kansas man was sentenced today to 52 months in prison for his role in a scheme involving the illegal export of firearms from the United States using a hidden online marketplace, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas.
Michael Andrew Ryan, aka Brad Jones and GunRunner, 36, of Manhattan, Kansas, previously pleaded guilty to six counts of exporting and attempting to export firearms illegally from the United States to individuals located in other countries on June 6, 2016, and was remanded into custody on Oct. 6, 2016. In addition to imposing today’s prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree of the District of Kansas ordered Ryan to forfeit all firearms and ammunition seized by law enforcement during the investigation.
In connection with his plea, Ryan admitted that he used the hidden internet marketplace Black Market Reloaded, a website hosted on the Tor network where users can traffic anonymously in illegal drugs and other illegal goods, to unlawfully export or attempt to export firearms from the United States to Cork, Ireland; Mallow, Ireland; Pinner, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Victoria, Australia. These goods included dozens of firearms, including pistols, revolvers, UZIs and Glocks, some from which the manufacturer’s serial numbers had been removed, altered or obliterated, as well as magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Kansas City Field Division investigated the case with assistance from ATF’s National Investigative Division; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and the Manhattan and Riley County, Kansas, Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough of the District of Kansas and Senior Counsel Marie-Flore Johnson of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section prosecuted the case.