Men jailed for firearms offences
08 October 2012
A group of men found in possession of 'sniper' rifles and a large amount of ammunition have been jailed following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Trident Gang Crime Command.
Tyron Harding sold a .22 bolt-action rifle and hollow-point ammunition - designed to cause maximum injury - to his fellow defendants on 1 November 2011, during a pro-active surveillance operation, named Operation Boneset.
"London is far safer with these individuals and weapons off the streets."
Loyan Osman was stopped soon afterwards by armed officers as he travelled in a minicab and found in possession of 57 rounds of the ammunition. When officers searched the boot of the vehicle, in Brighton Road, South Croydon, they found the rifle with a sniper scope attached, along with a silencer. The rifle was loaded with a bullet in the breach and more in a magazine.
Osman, Anthony Hosey, Khadar Mire and Nathaniel Tracey had been watched by officers as they travelled from Lambeth in Mire's BMW to make the purchase from Harding. As Osman travelled back to Lambeth in the minicab, his colleagues followed in the BMW.
Officers arrested Osman at the scene of the stop and subsequently detained Hosey, Mire and Tracey following further investigation.
On 12 December, officers executed a firearms warrant at the address of Harding's girlfriend in Huddlestone Crescent, Merstham, Surrey - close to the scene of the first transaction on 1 November.
Whilst searching the loft they found a further .22 bolt-action rifle with telescopic sight and silencer. Three boxes of hollow-point ammunition, containing 62 rounds, were also recovered.
Harding was arrested as he returned home and subsequently charged.
The men were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday 5 October.
Detective Sergeant Phil Holt, of the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: "These men were found in possession of the kind of lethal weaponry that is typically associated with the most dangerous of criminals.
"Such items are owned solely by those intent on causing serious harm to their planned target or targets, and our officers deserve huge credit for this intervention which followed a skilled and painstaking investigation.
"We can only speculate about the intended recipient of the second rifle found at Harding's home, however, what is clear is that London is far safer with these individuals and weapons off the streets."
Tyron Harding, 45, of Mitcham, Surrey was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and also possession of a separate firearm connected to the operation.
He pleaded guilty prior to the start of the trial on 6 June and was on Friday 5 October, was sentenced to 11 years.
Loyan Osman, 25, Anchor Street, Sydenham, was charged on 2 November. He denied possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life but was convicted following a trial. He also admitted possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 14 years.
The following pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life but were convicted on 22 June at Woolwich Crown Court.
Anthony Hosey, 28, of Fiveways Road, Stockwell, was sentenced to 16 years.
Khadar Mire, 25, of Bell Green Lane, Sydenham, was sentenced to 16 years.
Nathaniel Tracey, 27, of Akerman Road, Brixton, was sentenced to 15 years.