South London firearms gang jailed for 77 years

Katherine Johnston (31 May, 2019) Crime In the Dock

'This amount of firepower in the hands of the criminal fraternity is a truly terrifying thought'

29812Ammunition

A firearms gang, including a man from Kennington, have been jailed for a total of 77-and-a-half years after one of the Met’s largest ever weapons busts.

All six members were sentenced yesterday (Thursday, May 30) at Croydon Crown Court after two separate trials ending in December last year, and March 2019.

The court had previously heard how the gang started operating when Manfred Kurz, a firearms enthusiast from Germany, moved to the UK around 2004 after serving with the German army.

He smuggled ammunition with him bought with his German licence.

The court was told Kurz, who lived in Croydon, started selling the ammunition illegally with his niece, Sian Miller, from South Norwood.

In February 2018, Trident officers searched his niece’s home address and found 1,800 rounds of ammunition, two pistols and five canisters of banned CS Spray. They also recovered bullet-making equipment.

After searching Kurz’s home, police found more ammunition and bullet-making equipment.

An investigation linked four more people to the crimes, including a cousin of Miller’s. All were charged with firearms offences.

Manfred Kurz

Manfred Kurz, aged 61, from Ashburton Road in Croydon was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after pleading guilty at his trial to two counts of possession of ammunition and possession of explosive substances. Plus two counts of possesion of firearms and possession of the component parts of a firearm.

Sian Miller

Sian Alexandra Miller, aged 25, from Stranger Road in South Norwood was jailed for fifteen years after being found guilty of conspiracy to sell or transfer ammunition.

Mishak Wright Martin

Mishak Wright-Martin, aged 34, from Kennington Park Road, was jailed for eleven years of conspiracy to sell or transfer ammunition.

Sierra Denton

Sierra Denton, aged 31, from Cromer Road, South Norwood, was jailed for nine years. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell or transfer ammunition and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Lorenzo Brooks

Lorenzo Brooks, aged 29, from Crutchley Road in Catford was jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons and possession of component parts of a firearms.

Lukas Duncan

Lukas Duncan, aged 22, from Guildford Avenue in Surbiton, was jailed for fifteen years after being found guilty conspiracy to sell or transfer ammunition.

Detective Constable Martin Reader, from the Met’s Trident Command, said: “I am pleased that these individuals have received very significant sentences, demonstrating the gravity of these offences.

“The recovery of this haul of ammunition and black powder represents one of the Met’s largest ever seizures of ammunition and explosive substances in recent times.

“A huge amount of ammunition has been recovered, which we believe was destined to be sold to criminals with gang connections.

“This amount of firepower in the hands of the criminal fraternity is a truly terrifying thought.

“Thankfully the rapid action of Trident officers has taken this weaponry off the streets before it could be used, and for that, every person who lives in, or visits our capital, should be thankful.

“I believe the actions of Met officers have saved lives and brought these people to justice, who put their own greed above the safety of their community.”

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