A former PSNI police officer has been jailed for 11 years for attempted possession of a firearm and ammunition, numerous drugs-related charges and perverting the course of justice.
Allen Kennedy (31), formerly of Strandtown PSNI station, was handed the sentence at Downpatrick Crown Court on Thursday.
He has been ordered to spend 5.5 years in prison and 5.5 years on licence.
He pleaded guilty in October to attempted possession of a firearm and ammunition, namely a 9mm handgun, silencer and 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition with intent to endanger life, and possession of ammunition (50 rounds of 9mm) without a certificate.
He also pleaded guilty to numerous drugs possession charges relating to cannabis, MDMA and cocaine - and possession with intent to supply in relation to the cocaine - as well as a previous charge of perverting the course of justice.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, of the PSNI's Cyber Crime Centre, said: "This case and the sentence handed down today continues to show our commitment to keep drugs and firearms off the streets of Northern Ireland.
"Those intent on criminal activity should know that even with the perceived anonymity of activity on the ‘dark web’, we will continue to pursue criminals in whatever quarter they operate to keep people safe.
"We will continue working with the Public Prosecution Service in order to bring criminals using the cyber world to carry out their illegal acts before the courts."
Kennedy was a serving PSNI officer. He was arrested in March 2014 for offences relating to perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office and was suspended.
During his suspension, he was involved in the purchase of drugs and drug paraphernalia and attempted to purchase a 9mm pistol, a silencer and 10 rounds of ammunition.
For some of these purchases he used the ‘dark web’, and in particular the ‘dark net’, to access different sites.
The PSNI conducted a covert investigation into his activities, which culminated on the morning of September 5th 2016, when he handed over stg£500 for a package he thought contained a 9mm pistol, silencer and 10 rounds of ammunition which led to his arrest.
Officers then carried out a search of a vehicle driven by Kennedy which uncovered two hides disguised as a drinks tin and a WD40 tin containing a total of 13 dealer bags of white powder.
An examination confirmed the white powder was cocaine.
The search also uncovered three empty hides disguised as batteries, a collection of suspected dealer bags and three mobile phones.
An examination of mobile devices seized showed evidence of communication involving the attempted purchase of the firearm, while text messages on another phone were associated with someone involved in the supply of controlled drugs.
During searches of two properties in the north Down area, police found further evidence drugs hides disguised as drinks tins, 'dealer' bags of suspected Class A drugs and various other drugs which were confirmed as cocaine, MDMA and cannabis, as well as documentation associated with use of ‘dark net’ market places.
Police also recovered fifty 9mm rounds.