In an incident revealing the nature of online crime, an individual named Robin Baxter was sentenced to over three years in prison after authorities foiled his attempts to procure a firearm and ammunition from the dark web.
Baxter, who admitted to falling into a drug debt on the dark web, found himself in court today after his illicit activities were discovered.
Judge Lord Richardson observed that the swift action taken by law enforcement agencies was instrumental in averting a potentially dangerous situation. Without their interference, an illegal firearm, along with ammunition, could have ended up in the hands of criminals, he noted.
The judge condemned Baxter’s reckless disregard of the lethal nature of these weapons, used primarily to inflict harm and instill fear.
Baxter was chastised at the High Court in Edinburgh for his transgressions. The gravity of his crimes, coupled with a stern need for deterrence, meant a custodial sentence was unavoidable. He was facing a possible sentence of over four years if found guilty after a trial.
However, his admission of guilt mitigated his sentence to a total of 37 months — or just over three years.
Lord Richardson acknowledged that Baxter had a history of health issues, both physical and mental. Baxter, a first-time offender aged 50, confessed to trying to possess an illicit firearm and ammunition at his residence in Aberdeen’s Pentland Crescent.
His plan involved acquiring a Glock pistol and 200 rounds of ammunition being shipped to his home.
However, the plot was foiled when American homeland security agents uncovered the weapon. Agents found the Glock, equipped with a laser sight, ammunition, and a silencer concealed inside a bluetooth speaker package at Denham Springs, Louisiana.
Upon this discovery, U.K. authorities were informed. They set up a decoy parcel, which was delivered and accepted by Baxter at his residence. Following this, Baxter was apprehended by police at Crimond, Aberdeenshire.
Prosecutor Alan Mackay informed the court that during an interrogation, Baxter confessed to buying cannabis using cryptocurrency on the dark web. He also revealed that he corresponded with his drug dealer through a secure email service.
According to Mackay, Baxter agreed to receive the parcel as a favor to the dealer, from whom he had a debt of £2,500.
After being informed that the package contained a Glock, Baxter carried out an online search, realizing that it was a firearm. The dealer had instructed him to keep the parcel until collection arrangements were made.
To any person familiar with the usual way deep web dealings work this appears as an excuse unlikely to be true. Darknet markets have anonymous users interact with other anonymous users with most assuming that — if given the chance — the other party would defraud them.
Baxter’s defense attorney, Craig Findlater, indicated that his client was fully aware of the severity of his actions and the corresponding charges he was facing. A comprehensive report detailing Baxter’s background was prepared to supplement this claim.