Darknet drug dealer loses sentencing appeal

The man was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his part in an online drugs operation

A man who was caught running an online drug dealing network from a business premises in Dublin has failed to have his sentence reduced.

Neil Mannion of Mount Drummond Avenue in Harold’s Cross, Dublin was jailed for six and a half years for his part in the two-man operation.

His co-accused, Richard O’Connor received a three year sentence.

O’Connor, a resident of Clonskeagh Road in Dublin was working on a laptop when Gardaí stormed a business unit on South Circular Road on November 5th 2014.

Gardaí discovered €143,000 worth of drugs as well as a vacuum pack machine, some weighing scales, VISA cards, envelopes and some postage labels.

O’Connor - along with Neil Mannion - was selling drugs on an encrypted part of the internet that is difficult to access and allows users remain anonymous.

Mannion took full responsibility for the online side of things, while his co-accused admitted packaging and posting the drugs for up to €1,000 a week.

Last year, he was jailed for six and a half years while O’Connor received a three year sentence.

Mannion’s legal team appealed his sentence because of what they believed to be unjustifiable disparity between the two.

In dismissing his appeal today, Mr. Justice George Birmingham agreed with the sentencing judge’s remarks that Mannion was the “brains” of the operation, and accepted that O’Connor’s role was secondary.