Jan 25 2013
Four former soldiers and a fifth man have been sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison for smuggling guns, ammunition and drugs into the country, a Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said.
The servicemen, who were based in Germany, conspired with civilian contact Ramone Marshallek in London to import the criminal goods in January last year.
Lance Laurent, 26, who was a trooper with the Queen's Royal Hussars, Duran Wright, 28, a Lance Corporal with the Royal Logistic Corps, Trave Dyce, 22, a former trooper in the Queen's Royal Hussars and Lemar Loveless, 26, who was arrested six days after he quit the Queen's Royal Hussars, were all sentenced along with Marshallek, 25, at Woolwich Crown Court.
Alison Saunders, CPS London chief Crown 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 contact in London.
"The conspirators were first caught with the five handguns and 493 grams of cocaine when Dyce drove off the Euro Shuttle train at Dover in January, but the full extent of the criminality was not discovered until phone data was meticulously analysed and a picture of those involved was created.
"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."
Detective Inspector Chris Jones, from Trident Gang Crime Command's north east team, said: "The convictions of Lemar Loveless, Trave Dyce, Romone Marshalleck, Lance Laurent and Duran Wright are the culmination of a great deal of hard work by the Trident north east team, Kent Police, British Military and the CPS.
"It has led to the removal of five lethal firearms and ammunition, weapons which would inevitably have been used to commit acts of serious violence on the streets of London.
"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."