Organised crime gang jailed for 31 years for firearms offences in north Manchester
- Three men and a woman arrested in possession of firearms and ammunitions
- They were found guilty and sentenced to total of 31 years in jail
An organised gang of three men and a woman from north Manchester who pleaded guilty to firearms offences have been sent to jail for a total of 31 years.
At Manchester Crown Court the following sentences were handed out:
- Martin Joyce, 38, of Ashley Lane, Moston, was jailed for 10 years and six months after being found guilty of conspiracy to transfer weapons
- Mark Crolla, 41, of Scotland Hall Road, Newton Heath, jailed for five years and six months after being found guilty of possessing firearms
- Dannell Jammeh, 40, of Scotland Hall Road, Newton Heath, jailed for five years after being found guilty of possessing firearms.
- Joseph Hodskinson, 32 , of Hesford Avenue, Moston jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to transfer weapons. He also received a concurrent sentence of four years three months for converting firearms.
Joyce, Crolla and Jammeh were arrested on 18 December 2020, with Hodskinson arrested a day later in West Yorksire.
Officers seized a total of five firearms and a large quantity of ammunition – including an imitation assault rifle – after raiding properties in Newton Heath and Audenshaw.
The court heard that Hodskinson regularly purchased rounds of blank ammunition and deactivated firearms online, which were delivered to his home address on Ashley Lane.
One parcel from Spain which was intercepted by UK Border Force at Birmingham airport in November 2019 contained a deactivated pistol.
Joyce and Hodskinson did the buying, converting, and selling a wide range of firearms and ammunition, while Jammeh and Crolla stored the firearms.
When officers attended the home of Crolla and Jammeh, who were in a relationship at that time, they found an imitation Ak47 firearm along with a loaded magazine hidden in the loft of the address.
After Crolla and Jammeh were arrested, Joyce tried to flee to Dubai but was arrested at Manchester Airport.
Found in his possession was a suitcase which contained £2,000 in cash. Several messages were found on a phone in which Joyce commented that “he needs to bounce”, referring to his need to flee the country.
Chief Inspector Joseph Harrop said: “This investigation was part of Operation Owando, which is GMP's investigation into organised groups who are involved in the purchase of deactivated/blank firing firearms, which are then subsequently reactivated to be sold on to further criminals involved in serious and organised crime."
Detective Sergeant Damain Reed, in charge of the operation, added: “This group posed a significant threat to the public being in possession of such weapons and it’s a big relief that they are now going to spend the foreseeable future behind bars.
"The firearms trade funds serious criminality, which can lead to people losing their lives as well as destroying local communities.
“This was a complex case and I would like to thank the detectives and specialist team who have worked hard to make sure that these men have been served justice today and we will continue to fight this type of crime”.