A UK gang that supplied criminals with illegally converted replica firearms has been jailed. The gang converted blank firing replicas, selling them on to local gangs. The gang of three were sentenced to a combined 52 years behind bars on 5th September.
The gang, led by 41 year old Carlington ‘Mad Dog’ Grant also included Grant’s girlfriend Khianna Lewis (34) and another man, Jermaine Dornan (30). The gang purchased 43 replica pistols for around £150 ($190) each and around 1,160 blank cartridges.
Grant and Lewis paid £7,370 ($9,500) for the 43 blank-firing guns and ammunition and according to the BBC, selling them on for around £1,500 ($1,900) to £3,000 ($3,800) each on the black market. Grant purchased the pistols from France and then converted them and attempted to remove the guns’ serial numbers.
The gang were seen collecting the pistols in Cornwall and a subsequent police raid on a workshop in West Bromwich found a number of hidden pistols.
Police displayed three of the replica blank firing pistols bought and converted by Grant, they appear to be 8mm GAP pistols made in Italy. The pistols fire 8mm blank cartridges and have 15-round magazines. GAP manufacture a number of replicas based on popular handguns. The photos show two Glock-pattern pistols and one styled after the Beretta P4X Storm.
The gang imported the pistols from France where they are legal to buy and sell and then converted them into working, but unsafe, firearms. Legally, blank firing replicas in the UK should have a bright orange slide or frame to denote that they are not working firearms.
Detective Constable Rory Juss, of West Midlands Police, said:
They used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle of luxury cars and regular trips abroad – but their lethal business came crashing down after we intercepted two of their converted pistols. They went to significant lengths to mask their movements and dealings: Lewis bought the guns using a bank account in her mother’s name, they rented hire cars and used ‘burner’ phones to hide their criminality.
The three gang members were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court for conviction of conspiring to sell prohibited weapons and ammunition, as well as a drug dealing charge for Dornan. After the sentencing Detective Constable Juss said that “taking someone like Grant off the streets has stopped a significant supply line of guns destined for criminals operating in the West Midlands and beyond.”