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Two men jailed after police discover 'sinister' clown mask and pistol used in shooting in car boot

Two men have been jailed for firearms offences involving a gun that was used in a shooting.


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Akelle Charles and Ricardo Thomas have been jailed for a combined total of more than 14 years after police discovered a firearm, 15 rounds of ammunition, and a sinister clown mask in the boot of their car.

Charles, of St Anne's Road, Wolverhampton, who has links to London and Thomas, of St Albans Road, Smethwick, both aged 33, were stopped by police at the M40 southbound Warwick Services just before 9pm on October 27.

The car the pair were travelling in, which was found to be a rental registered under a different name, had been driven from London to Wolverhampton late on October 26, the day before the pair were arrested.

From L-R: Akelle Charles and Ricardo Thomas

After searching the rental vehicle, officers quickly discovered the firearm, a Glock-style self-loading piston, inside a black Nike manbag.

After being forensically examined, the pistol was linked to bullet cases left at the scene of a shooting in London a month earlier, where a number of shots were fired at a house.

Charles' home was just over two miles from the scene of the shooting, although there was no evidence linking him to it.

The pistol and 9mm ammunition were discovered in a black Nike manbag

Chats recovered from the men's phones suggested they both had heavy involvement and a knowledge of firearms.

Detective Inspector Amar Patel, from the West Midlands Police regional organised crime unit, said: "These men were heading back towards London at the time of their arrest with a loaded firearm, gloves and a mask in a car hired in someone else’s name.

"We’ll never know what their plans were, but we have taken a loaded gun and two dangerous men off the streets."

This sinister clown mask was discovered in the boot of the rental vehicle

Both Charles and Thomas appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on May 7 where they pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Thomas was jailed for eight years and Charles was jailed for six years and nine months.

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