David Mitchell, a 48-year-old, from Edinburgh, has been sentenced to five years in jail after being caught trying to buy a gun from the USA via the dark web, according to this report by the Scotland Police. He spent the equivalent of £2000 in Bitcoin on a Glock 9mm gun with magazine, silencer and 150 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
His sentencing is being hailed as the first major success for the recently formed Organised Crime Partnership Scotland – the OCP(S) – which is a collaboration between between Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency. The OCP(S) is looking to “build on the already strong relationship between Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency”.
The gun was seized at the point of exit from the US, where officers informed the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland, which led to the OCP(S) involvement.
To ensure public safety, a fake parcel known as a placebo was delivered to his work address in Dunfermline. Specialist officers carried out surveillance until Mitchell drove home with the partially opened package in the boot of his car.
Officers entered his house with a search warrant and found the placebo under his couch, he was subsequently arrested and charged and then convicted on 5th December 2018.
Wanted To See If It Could Be Done
Mitchell was described by Detective Inspector Tom Gillan of Police Scotland as a “meek, well-mannered individual who lived alone with no partner or children”
His lawyer, QC John Scott, said that while Mitchell has a history of depression and behavioral problems, he did not plan to use the firearm to harm anybody. According to the defence, he only carried out the transaction to see if it could be done.
However, Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean, head of Scotland Police Specialized Crime Division, said that Mitchell offered no explanation for his actions at the time, and they could not determine any ulterior motives. With security of the public being paramount, stopping Mitchell was essential to avert a potential problem.
Speaking following the sentencing, DCS McLean said: “David Mitchell tried to bypass Scottish, UK and American laws as he attempted to purchase a dangerous firearm and bring it into this country. His sentence should serve as a reminder that organised crime offences will not be tolerated”.