December 7 2013 Latest news:
Monday, January 28, 2013
A former soldier from an elite unit has been jailed for 14 years after he was caught smuggling semi-automatic guns and high grade cocaine into the country.
Lemar Loveless, 26, of Brydon Walk, Islington, was stopped by armed police after he and another man got off the Eurotunnel train from France last January.
Police searched their BMW and found three semi-automatic pistols with silencers and ammunition, plus two Walther PPK semi-automatic 9mm weapons, similar to those favoured by fictional spy James Bond.
Half a kilogramme of cocaine worth an estimated £70,000 on the street was also found.
Loveless had been based in Germany with the Queen’s Royal Hussars but had been discharged just six days earlier. He and the other man, 22-year-old Trave Dyce, were arrested.
Loveless refused to answer any questions – but Dyce pointed the finger at him.
Both men were charged and their phones seized. Their calls and texts were analysed which led to the arrest of two more men, Lance Laurent and Duran Wright, in Germany.
Ramone Marshallek, a civilian in London, was also arrested and all five men were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court last week.
Alison Saunders, chief prosecutor, said: “This was a carefully planned conspiracy to bring weapons, ammunition and drugs into the UK organised by four soldiers based in Germany and their civilian contacts.”
She added: “These deadly weapons could have gone on to be used in violent crimes. The 74 live bullets brought in as part of the importation were very difficult to obtain in the UK and were likely to have been sold to the criminal underworld.
“The high-purity cocaine that was imported had a street value of over £70,000 and would almost certainly have made big profits for criminal gangs while damaging lives.”
Det Ins Chris Jones said: “Trident operations, such as this one, demonstrate that it remains difficult for criminals to obtain guns and that police will use all means necessary to track down those responsible to arrest and place them before the courts.”
Loveless was given a 14 year sentence for conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs; Dyce, of Sydney Road, Smethwick, was sentenced to seven and half years for conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs; Laurent, 26, of Gloucester Street, Pimlico, got 12 years in prison for conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs; Wright, 26, of Jerningham Road, New Cross, was sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs and Marshalleck of Huron Road, Tooting Bec, was sentenced to six and a half years for conspiracy to import firearms.