TWO men have been jailed today after a stash of deadly guns and ammunition was uncovered in a Southampton flat.
Peter Castle and Thomas Graham were sentenced in Southampton Crown Court today for 24 combined firearms and ammunition offences.
Castle was given eight years and Graham (above) sentenced to five.
Revolvers, pistols, a sawn off shotgun, silencers and more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition were among the weapons in two large holdalls seized by police from a flat in Albion Towers, Golden Grove, on Tuesday, October 29.
Officers from Hampshire Constabulary's Serious Organised Crime staged the early hours raid after an intelligence led warrant and arrested the men.
Castle, 46, of Alder Road, and Graham, 43, of Golden Grove both admitted eight counts each of possessing firearms and two counts each of possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate and a count of each of possessing expanding ammunition.
Castle (above) also admitted two counts of possessing ammunition when prohibited.
Detective Inspector Ellie Hurd said: “We have no evidence to suggest that the weapons have been involved in recent crime.
“However the fact that many were operational and stored with ammunition suggests they had a criminal purpose, although not necessarily for use in Southampton.
“These firearms, which obviously pose a significant risk to members of the public, have been removed from potential circulation within organised crime groups and will now be destroyed.”
The warrant was obtained after intelligence gained by the force's Operation Fortress to target drug related crime in the city.
Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Andy Marsh, who is the Association of Chief Police Officers lead for firearms licensing.
He said: “This case demonstrates the success of the Operation Fortress project to tackle drug related crime in Southampton.
He welcomed the announcement by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes to fund Operation Fortress for another year and added: “This will enable us to continue the work already established with partners in Southampton and replicate this success elsewhere in the force area.”
The stash included:
- Browning 9mm pistol loaded with two cartridges
- Hil single action pistol
- .22 calibre pistol
- Derringer style pistol
- Duelling style pistol
- 'English Bulldog' revolver
- .380 calibre Webley revolver
- Sawn-off shotgun
- Frame and trigger of a Webley Mark 6 revolver
- Muzzle loading revolver
- Flintlock pistol
- 597 rounds of hollow point and one round of soft point .22 calibre ammunition designed or adapted to expand on impact
- 526 rounds of cartridge ammunition
- Nine rounds of pyrotechnic shotgun ammunition
- 251 rounds of shotgun ammunition
- 202 .22 shotgun cartridges