Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse has sentenced a man to prison for surfing the dark web to purchase a machine gun. Hamid Kadir, a former translator of the Australian Special Force, was not off the hook after he pleaded guilty to the charges. His arrest was orchestrated by an undercover agent mandated to patrol the dark side of the internet to lure lawbreakers and bring them under the authority of the law. The operations of undercover agents have led to several arrests.
According to the report, Kadir, who worked as an Irvine security guard at Irvin Apartment Complex Turtle Ridge close to UC Irvin, wanted to leave for Afghanistan or Dubai due to fear of a political meltdown sometime in 2017. To prepare for this adventure, he thought he needed a weapon. He, therefore, surfed the dark web looking for a machine gun with extreme caution. As claimed by authorities, Kadir did not shop for any other weapon besides the one prohibited from being possessed by civilians.
Kadir posed as an arms dealer and shopped for an M4 carbine rifle, special optics, five magazines of ammunition, and a silencer. He settled on $7,700 payment deal for the items. Unfortunately for him, he ended up dealing with one of the many undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security who have disguised themselves on the darknet marketplaces as vendors. According to the DHS, Kadir earlier sent an encrypted message to the undercover agent on the 20th of December 2017 requesting a “Carbine, 5.56mm M4 . . . The same one used by Special Forces,” thinking he was dealing with a real vendor. However, he changed his order on the eve of Christmas instead requesting the riffle, special optics and the other weapons listed above.
After Kadir had purchased the items, he instructed the undercover agent to leave them in the trunk of a vehicle in a parking lot at Irvin shopping center. The undercover agent followed his instructions, and on Kadir’s way to pick the items, they arrested him and put him behind bars. Interesting enough, Kadir was not arrested alone. Authorities also arrested an accomplice who followed him to pick the items by the name Rohina Sadiqui.
During his earlier appearance at court, the U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna stated that the perfect punishment for him on account of his decision to obtain these weapons is a one-year prison sentence. He also added that Kadir was supposed to be subjected to 36 months of supervised probation after his prison term. However, he was handed an 18 months prison term by Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. According to the report, he received the 18 months because of his decision to purchase weapons on the dark web so as not to be detected by authorities. The court gave him until the 8th of March 2019 to surrender himself to begin his prison term.
Some months ago, an ex-cop was also sentenced to prison for buying grenades on the dark web. The list of former national security workers arrested for purchasing guns on the dark web is long. However, the arrested perpetrators were subjected to the authority of the law.
Gun sales on the dark web have been an increasing concern as the U.S. remains one of the primary sources on the dark web. It has been reported that buying guns on the dark web is as easy as buying chocolate, and this has led to an increase in crime as weapons fall into the wrong hands. Some agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, have expressed their concerns and have come up with a measurement to deal with this growing illegal weapon trade.
Countries including Australia have also been affected by the ever increasing rate of illegal drug trade on the internet. Authorities have responded by employing measures such as going undercover on the dark web and ensuring that postal officers are well equipped to intercept such packages containing illicit substances.