Kansas man pleads guilty to illegally shipping guns overseas

A 35-year old Kansas man pled guilty in federal court Monday following his arrest last year in connection with a number guns intercepted in Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia.

Michael Andrew Ryan, also known as “Brad Jones” and “GunRunner,” of Manhattan, Kansas, pleaded guilty to six counts of exporting and attempting to export firearms illegally to individuals located in other countries.

Last June, members of the Riley County Police Department assisted Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents as well as those from Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service in serving a search warrant on Ryan’s residence in the 500 Block of Fort Riley Blvd in Manhattan.

According to an 18-count indictment unsealed after his arrest, Ryan allegedly shipped nine handguns, including pistols and revolvers made by Glock, Hi-Point, Taurus, Beretta and Walther; 318 rounds of assorted ammunition and eight magazines, overseas in violation of federal law.

Ryan had obtained several of the guns with the assistance of straw buyers going back as far as 2013 and attempted to scratch out the manufacturer’s serial numbers on each in an effort to derail future traces.

The guns had been sent via FedEx International Air Waybill to Cork and Mallow, Ireland; Pinner, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Victoria, Australia after being sold on online through a digital black market site.

“With a computer and an internet connection, Ryan hosted an international arms trafficking business on the dark web, peddling firearms and ammunition throughout the world,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gen. Leslie R. Caldwell in a statement. “Criminals of all stripes take advantage of technological advances to further their crimes and attempt to avoid identification and arrest.”

Ryan’s sentencing is set for Sept. 12 in the U.S. Courthouse in Topeka before District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree. Until then, he is on supervised release.

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