Six convicted of illegal firearms and ammunition supply
- Credit: Met Police
A criminal gang who manufactured and supplied firearms and ammunition have been jailed for 45 years between them.
The illegal operation was shut down after a vehicle search in Newham by police last June led officers to the discovery of a workshop where deactivated weapons were being reactivated and ammunition was being manufactured.
Four men and a woman convicted for their roles in the operation were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday. A fifth convicted man has had his sentencing adjourned until March.
Police investigations began after officers stopped a minicab in Bishops Avenue, Newham in June 2015.
Passengers Aaron Shane Murray and Uzair Patel were removed from the vehicle and a firearm – a reactivated 9mm self-loading pistol – was found in the footwell. Both men were arrested for possession of a firearm.
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Following the arrests, officers discovered that Murray was deactivating and then reactivitating the weapons at a workshop owned by Bart Pawlowski, who was also subsequntly arrested.
Pawlowski, a metalworker and former soldier in the Polish army, was skilled in knowing how to reactivate the weapons.
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Police later discovered Ishmael Brown, a serving prisoner at HMP Rochester, was using an illicit phone to source the deactivated firearms and sell them loaded weapons onto his contacts in the criminal underworld.
His girlfriend, Caitlin Adams, was responsible for delivering the deactivated weapons to the workshop, while another prisoner at HMP Rochester, Ehsen Abdul-Razak, assisted Brown in organising the sale of the firearm to Patel.
More than 40 firearms, including an AK47 style assault rifle, were sourced by the group over a six-month period from January to June 2015,
Eight reactivated firearms linked to the gang have been since recovered and police are continuing to recover the remaining weapons.
“The firearms and ammunition this gang converted had the potential to cause great harm on the streets of London and there is no doubt that the capital is a safer place as a result of the network being dismantled,” said Det Con Claire Gentles, the officer in the case.
“The sentencing of Caitlin Adams should serve as a warning to others of the grave consequences of storing and transporting guns for others.”
The conspirators were aged between 19 and 46, and lived in Newham, Wandsworth, Lewisham and HMP Rochester.
Det Insp James Hale, said:
“This was a complex investigation targeting criminals both inside and outside of prison as part of the Met’s fight against gang and gun crime.
“We successfully collaborated with our colleagues in the prison service to recover the mobile phones and I would like to pay tribute to my detectives who have worked tirelessly to make communities safer and see this case to its successful conclusion.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the outstanding weapons to contact police.”
Full list of names and sentences:
Top row – from left to right
1) Name: Aaron Shane Murray
From: Witley Point, Wandsworth
Sentence: Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons. Sentencing has been adjourned until March pending psychiatric reports.
2) Name: Ishmael Brown
From HMP Rochester
Sentence: Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and was sentenced to 12 years.
3) Name: Bart Pawlowski
From: Thornsett Road, Wandsworth
Sentence: Found guilty of conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and was sentenced to 13 years.
4) Caitlin Adams
From Campshill Road, Lewisham
Sentence: Found guilty of conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and was sentenced to 10 years.
5) Name: Uzair Patel
From: Abbey Road, Newham
Sentence: Pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon and sentenced to five years.
6) Name: Ehsen Abdul-Razak
From HMP Rochester
Sentence: Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and was sentenced to five years.