Two men who were arrested after being spotted in a gun hand-over in Margate have been jailed for a total of more than ten years.
Lee Walker, 35, and Alex Vassallo, 28, were seen acting suspiciously in Milton Avenue on the evening of Saturday 18 June 2022.
Officers attended the area and the pair were seen to exchange a bag between themselves. As officers approached, Walker quickly walked away down an alley, but was followed and stopped.
Vassallo was seen inside a car, holding a rucksack into which the bag had been placed. He struggled with officers but was arrested and police searched the rucksack. It was found to contain a 8mm Bruni pistol and cocaine with a street value of up to £20,000.
Both men were arrested and later charged with possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
They admitted both offences at Canterbury Crown Court and, on Friday 3 February, Walker, of West Cliff Road, Ramsgate, received a five-year, seven-month sentence and Vassallo, of Gladstone Road, Broadstairs, was jailed for five years and three months.
Acting Detective Inspector Jon Saxby, of Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “These arrests were an example of our commitment to relentlessly disrupt and tackle the activities of serious criminals.
“I am pleased a weapon which could have been used to threaten or harm people in Kent has been removed from the streets, along with class A drugs whose sale would have benefited a criminal network.”
No mention of ammunition, may well have been a blank firing replica. Which might explain the relatively low sentence for a combination of firearm and drug offences.
THey will soon be back on the streets,having learnt in the crime uni Better ways to do wat they do.Think that 8mm gun is a blank firing item. Thought of doing an internet search but dont want NCA battering down my freshly painted frontdoor.
If there were no illicit drug users, there would be no drug dealers.