Armourer who supplied guns and ammo to cocaine kingpin jailed for 18 years
A fixer who got three guns and ammunition for a major criminal was starting an 18 year jail sentence today.
Sunny Dhatt sourced two 9mm pistols with a dozen rounds of ammunition and a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver for Khalad Uddin, the go between connecting West Midland drug dealers to Albanian gangsters importing cocaine into the country.
Uddin was described as 'the national co-ordinator, facilitator and link' to the elaborate narcotic network that focused on Kingswinford and spanned the Black Country, Oxford, London and Bristol.
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Undercover police officers watched father-of-four Sadaquat Ali collect the 9mm pistols - hidden in an Adidas shoe box - from the car of 24-year-old ex-guardsman Jermal Simpson at a rendezvous behind a Spar store in Lawnswood Road, Kingswinford on August 3 last year.
Four minutes later 35-year-old Ali was arrested with the cache on the driveway of his home in Madeley Road, Dudley, while £2,000 was found hidden under a seat of Simpson’s Seat when it was stopped shortly afterwards.
Analysis of mobile phones seized from the two men later showed each had been under the direction of either Uddin and Dhatt when the change-over took place. A fingerprint of 26-year-old Dhatt was found on the shoe box.
Two months later police seized the Smith and Wesson, loaded with six rounds of Russian-made ammunition, in an October 7 raid on a Black Country address that cannot be identified for legal reasons. The gun was hidden on the top shelf of a locked bedroom wardrobe.
A police surveillance team had seen Dhatt call a man linked to the address less than three weeks earlier and there was phone contact between the defendant and the person living at the the property 90 minutes before police swooped, revealed Mr Martyn Bowyer, prosecuting.
Father of one Dhatt, from Whittaker Street, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, and with previous convictions for 38 offences, was arrested as he emerged from a BMW dealership in North London on October 27. He was convicted of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited firearms and ammunition in relation to the 9mm pistols after a Wolverhampton Crown Court trial earlier this year.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess the Smith and Wesson and bullets when he appeared at the same court on Monday.
Mr Icah Peart QC, defending, said: "Given his background there is no surprise that he knows where to source firearms. He was asked to get three guns by Uddin who contacted him by phone. None of the guns sourced by the defendant had been used in crime."
Judge Nicholas Webb told former Wolverhampton College pupil Dhatt, whose previous convictions included possession of an unloaded sawn off shotgun: "You know how to get hold of lethal weapons and ammunition and have no qualms about putting such weapons onto the streets. The gravity of gun crime cannot be exaggerated. I consider you to be a dangerous man."
The defendant was given an extended 18 years jail sentence, meaning he cannot be considered for parole until completing two thirds of the term and will be monitored for five years longer than normal on release.
Uddin from Little Brewery Street, St Clements, Oxford was jailed for 16 years at an earlier hearing at Birmingham Crown Court. He was convicted of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited firearms and ammunition after a trial but admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and money laundering.
The 35-year-old enjoyed a lavish lifestyle with a plush flat in Scholars Mews, Oxford that cost £28,000 a year to rent and a fleet of seven luxury cars. Detectives discovered £442,000 in cash during searches of his flat and the home of his family.
Ali was jailed for six years while Simpson received six years at an earlier hearing for their parts in the hand over of the two 9mm pistols.