Four men involved in deadly gun sale are jailed
Four men involved in the sale of a lethal revolver were starting jail sentences totalling more than 34 years today.
Undercover police with video recording equipment had 32-year-old Lee Russell under surveillance when he left his mother's Wolverhampton home on the early evening of June 1, a judge heard.
Leon Facey, Jamie Hall-Reid and David Price, all aged 30, arrived in two cars soon afterwards and parked up in Keats Road, Fallings Park, where he was waiting, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Russell saw and acknowledged them before returning to the address he had come from, said Mr Rupert Jones, prosecuting.
Facey got out of the blue Ford Focus driven by Hall-Reid and went down an alleyway beside the house to speak to Russell before the other two men followed them into the property. The trio left around ten minutes later with Price carrying something heavy, continued the prosecutor.
Facey and Hall-Reid drove off in the Focus while Price left the scene in his VW Golf as both vehicles headed to a rendezvous in the car park of the Halfords store in Fox's Lane, Dunstall Hill.
Armed police swooped on both vehicles as soon as they stopped, searched the trio and found in the footwell of the VW a JD Sports bag that held an unloaded Italian revolver with its serial number rubbed out, together with five rounds of ammunition custom-made for the gun.
Moments later officers raided the address where the transfer had taken place and found £3,220 in cash hidden under a cushion on a sofa.
Father of one Facey's fingerprints were on the gun's hand grip, while Russells DNA was discovered on the JD Sports bag, the court heard.
The four men, who were arrested in the swoops, had been in phone contact during the run-up to the handover, explained Mr Jones. Russell was the supplier, while Facey acted as the go-between linking those representing the seller and buyer.
The pair phoned each other 19 times on May 29 which was the day when the order for the gun is believed to have been placed.
Father of one Hall-Reid kept in touch with Facey and was also in phone contact with Price, a roofer with two children. They were intermediaries with the latter closest to the buyer, it was said.
Oliver Woolhouse, representing Russell from Edensor Close, Wolverhampton maintained: "He was the supplier of the weapon on that day but was a link in the chain, not the source."
Russell, who was convicted of supplying a prohibited firearm, was jailed for 14 years while Facey of Stableford Road, Ackleton, and Hall-Reid from Fuchsia Drive, Pendeford were both found guilty of possession of the revolver and sent to prison for eight and seven-and-a half years respectively. All three were convicted by a jury.
Price from Grove Road, Kings Heath, admitted possession of the firearm and was locked up for five years four months.
Recorder James Smith told Russell: "You procured and supplied a lethal weapon with ammunition for profit not caring how it would be used. Guns kill, maim and terrorise and courts must recognise their effect on society."
Detective Chief Inspector Ronan Tyrer, from ROCU, said today: "Our work to take guns and those who use them off the streets of the West Midlands region continues and we will be relentless in our pursuit of reducing harm or potential harm to our communities.
"I would encourage anyone who has any information or suspects anything regarding firearms or organised crime to get in touch. Police and partner agencies are here to help prevent crime and protect our young people."
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