By: Elle O
(August 4, 2017)
Benjamin Donald Brunni, 19, of Greensburg, Indiana, and Nicholas Michael Albertson, 20, of Columbus, Indiana, had no idea they were making a weapons deal with an undercover cop.
Using the network “Tor” which allows access to the dark web and hides the identities and locations of users, people on the online market AlphaBay were able to buy and sell firearms and ammunition. One of these people was Brunni, who spoke to an anonymous buyer online for about a month before agreeing to a $7,550 exchange of 10 firearms.
On September 9, 2016, Brunni and his friend Albertson, drove out from Indiana to meet with the alleged buyer here at a truck stop in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Both men were arrested at the stop and the weapons they carried for the exchange were confiscated.
The investigation was conducted as part of an operation by the US Department of Homeland Security that continues to monitor the dark web. Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Debra Parker stated, “This guilty plea serves as a stern warning about the consequences awaiting arms traffickers who think the dark net is a safe haven to conduct illegal activities.”
Brunni is scheduled for sentencing on November 28, 2017, and Albertson is scheduled for November 13, 2017. The maximum penalty for unlicensed sale and transportation of weapons is up to five years in prison.
Tags: Weapons Deal, Newark, Attorney General, Illegal Gun Sales, FBI