Two men have been sentenced to a total of fifteen years in prison for firearms offences following an investigation by the Trident Gang Crime Command.
Edward Ephraim from Croydon pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to six years for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and six years of possession of a prohibited weapon, to run concurrently.
Adrian McNeish from Crawley pleaded not guilty, and has been sentenced to nine years for possession of a prohibited weapon. He was out on license when arrested in 2013.
The offences date to 10th December 2013 when, as part of an intelligence-led operation, officers from the Trident Gang Crime Command and specialist firearms officers stopped two cars on Westcott Close in Croydon.
In the back seat of one of the vehicles stopped, a BMW, Officers recovered a sawn-off shotgun and two rounds of ammunition wrapped in a handkerchief.
There were six people in the two vehicles, including Ephraim who ran away from police, and another four individuals who were arrested and charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.
McNeish was tracked down by officers to an address in Barnet and was arrested on 1st May 2014 and subsequently charged with possession of a prohibited weapon.
A trial took place at Croydon Crown Court in June 2014 involving the Ephraim, McNeish and four others, who had all been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Two of the six were found not guilty of firearm offences whilst there was a hung jury in respect of the remaining four defendants.
A re-trial took place in January 2015, which found another two also not guilty, leaving just Ephraim and McNeish to be sentenced.
Investigating Officer Detective Constable Darren Eyers, from the Met’s Trident Gang Crime Command, said:
Ephraim and McNeish are two dangerous individuals.
Their intent was to threaten people’s lives through the possession and no doubt use of the firearm we recovered. Following a complex and protracted manhunt by Trident officers, McNeish was traced, arrested and immediately recalled to prison.
These convictions serve as another reminder to anybody involved in the possession, supply and use of firearms; we will continue to actively pursue them and bring them before the courts. These are serious offences and will result in lengthy custodial sentences.