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Three men sentenced for firearms and drugs offences

Two men involved in the illegal supply of a handgun and serious drug offences have been sentenced to a total of almost 30 years in prison.

An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s Regional Organised Crime Unit (EMSOU ROCU) found Northampton man supplied a man from Kettering, with the firearm on May 15, 2021.

The discovery came about as part of EMSOU ROCU’s investigations into two drug supply lines involved in the sale of cocaine and heroin across Northamptonshire, including Corby and Wellingborough.

Between March and May 2021, officers found the man from Kettering and a Corby man, were running two lines nicknamed the Diego line and the Jamal line.

Numerous warrants were executed as part of the investigation, which uncovered cocaine and heroin deals hidden in coffee jars with their fingerprints on them, a large quantity of cash, and drugs worth more than £30,000.

Phones were also seized, with examination revealing they contained marketing texts offering drugs for sale, with the line sometimes sending up to 140 messages a day to potential customers.

On May 15, 2021, after two of the men had met in the Kingsthorpe area of Northampton, officers saw one of them was carrying something heavy in his pocket.

He was later stopped in a vehicle by armed officers from Northamptonshire Police in Red House Road, Northampton, and in the footwell of the car officers found a silver revolver with a brown handle.

In the process of being detained, the man was searched and found to also be in possession of a black and silver ‘Rambo’ style machete knife.

A subsequent examination of the firearm established that it was loaded and three 9mm rounds were recovered.

Forensic analysis also showed that he had been in possession of the gun, proving that he had been the one to supply it to the other man.

During a warrant executed at the man's home address for an unrelated matter, officers noticed a garden trowel in the porch and freshly disturbed soil in the garden. After digging up the area, they uncovered 27 wraps of heroin and £14,000 in cash.

The man, previously of Rockingham Road, Kettering, was charged with the transfer of a prohibited weapon and conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

In January 2023 he admitted the gun offence, and following a trial on the drugs offences, was convicted by a jury in April. At Northampton Crown Court on Thursday, June 8, he was sentenced to a total of 14 years and six months in prison.

The other man, of Five Acres Fold, Northampton, was charged with the transfer of a prohibited weapon and was found guilty at a trial in June 2022. He was also charged with the supply of Class B drugs and money laundering offences.

At the same sentencing hearing on June 8, he was sentenced to a total of 15 years and three months in prison.

The third man, previously of Chaucer Close, Corby, was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and was found guilty by a jury following a trial in April. At the sentencing hearing, he was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Lead investigator DC Julian Allen, from EMSOU ROCU, said: “This was a very complex investigation involving numerous warrants and multiple lines of enquiry, and I am really pleased to see all three men sentenced for their crimes.

“The man from Kettering in particular was a significant member of an organised crime group and seeing him handed a substantial prison sentence is very satisfying because it means Northamptonshire becomes just that little bit safer.

“Finally I’d like to thank everyone involved in this investigation. It took a lot of hard work and diligence to get to this point and that was a result of some really good teamwork.”

Detective Inspector Darren Brown, also of EMSOU ROCU, added: “Tackling serious and organised crime is an absolute priority for us. Drug supply and serious violence are often inextricably linked, as illustrated by the weapons recovered as part of this investigation.

“I want to reassure the people of Northamptonshire that EMSOU and Northamptonshire Police are dedicated to putting as many criminals behind bars as we can. My message to the drug dealers themselves is simple – we may not catch you today, or tomorrow, but one day soon we will gather the evidence we need to bring you to justice too.”

If you have information about suspected drug dealing, please report it by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be shared anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Read more here.

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