FIVE men have been jailed for the sale of a ‘Terminator style gun’ to a notorious London gang.
Luke Connor, 32, who recently ran Lounge 16 on George Street in Stroud, was handed a 16 year sentence for his part in the sale of what police have described as “one of the worst weapons we’ve seen in Gloucestershire”.
Connor, previously of Stratford Road, Stroud, but more recently of Coltishall Close, Gloucester, was identified as the seller of a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun and as the head of the organised crime group behind the sale.
At a hearing at Winchester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 20 February), Judge Barnett also sentenced Josh Laister, 24, of Bodenham Field, Gloucester, to six years; Fareed Oseni, 25, of Manor Road, London, to 12 years and six months; Sadak Hassan, 21, of Boleyn Road, London, to 11 years and three months; and Hamza Sadi, 19, of Elton Close, London to five years and seven months.
The judge said he believed this weapon was destined for gang related criminality in London.
And DI Ian Fletcher, senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This weapon was capable of wiping out a room in seconds and could have been devastating if it had ended up in the wrong hands.”
The sale of the gun came to light through a Gloucestershire Constabulary investigation into Luke Connor, launched after he was linked to other cases involving the supply of drugs and firearms.
Officers discovered communications between the defendants, organising the sale and collection of the gun. They tracked the progress of the transaction and on August, 26, 2019 were able to witness a short meeting and the handover of £3,500 from Hamza Sadi to Luke Connor in a vehicle parked outside Gloucester Quays.
Sadi was then seen to take a local taxi to a further address in Gloucester where Josh Laister handed the firearm to him.
Sadi returned to the taxi with the gun wrapped up in a camping chair bag, inside a sports holdall and stored it in the boot of the car.
The taxi then set off for London, but it was halted by officers on the A40 as it departed Gloucestershire.
A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of the shotgun and the arrest of Sadi.
Sadi was a courier, working on behalf of the purchaser of the firearm Sadak Hassan, who is linked to a notorious gang in London called the “Red Pitch Gang”.
All the defendants were charged with the offence of Conspiring to Transfer a Prohibited Firearm.
At a press briefing today, DI Fletcher said it was likely that the weapon had been intended for use in a gang versus gang vendetta shooting.
“This is a nasty and devastating firearm,” he said.
“It’s one of the worst weapons we’ve seen in Gloucestershire.”
DI Ian Fletcher added that the gun looked similar to the weapon famously used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator films, although that was actually a Winchester 1887.
WATCH: Alan Field, of the force armoury, demonstrated the devastating power of the gun, at a shooting range this afternoon:
Alan Field, of the force armoury, said that the Mossberg 500 is used in the UK by the police and the military.
“It has a shortened barrel, which is good for use in confined spaces,” he said.
“The police use it to gain entry to premises, it can take hinges out and locks out in reinforced doors. And we’d use it for tyre deflation, to stop someone getting away.
“But we’d never use it on people.
“There are no grounds for civilians to possess one these weapons in this country.”
He added that the gun appealed to criminals as, due to its shortened size, it could be easily concealed and used in close quarter attacking.
DI Ian Fletcher said: “The five members of this group have been jailed for a combined 51 years and six months, which is a fantastic sentence and sends out a strong message of what will happen if you get involved in this type of criminality.
“I would urge for anyone who has information about the sale of firearms or other crimes to please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“If you are threatened or forced into hiding a weapon such as this, please tell us.
“We will do everything we can to protect you and pursue those higher up the chain.”
Anyone with information can call police on 101 or independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The gun will now be destroyed.