Drug Dealer Jailed After Gun Found With Murder Links

31st July 2017

A drug dealer who was in possession of a gun that has been linked to two murders has been jailed after pleading guilty at Croydon Crown Court.

Andre Chambers, 34 (25.01.83) of Harlinger Street, Woolwich, was sentenced on Friday, 28 July to ten years' imprisonment for:

- One count of possession of a firearm;
- One count of possession of ammunition without a certificate;
- Two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

He was sentenced after pleading guilty to the offences on Friday, 10 March at the same court.

Acting Detective Inspector Martin Thorpe, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "We have waited over three years to get to this point and I am glad justice has now been served. Chambers did everything he could to evade capture and no doubt got complacent and thought he had got away with the offences committed in 2013.

"A dangerous man is now off the streets and I hope his sentence serves as a warning to those intent on concealing weapons and dealing drugs, we will continue to pursue you no matter the length of time."

Chambers, who was on the run for three years, was finally apprehended in October 2016 and has been on remand pending his court appearance.

On 23 September 2013 police attended a property Chambers was living at in Southwark. Upon conducting a search of the address officers found a shopping bag hidden under the sofa.

Inside the bag was a 9mm Glock handgun and when it was analysed it was forensically linked to Chambers. The bag also contained eight bullets, of which five could be fired from the recovered handgun.

As the search continued in the bedroom, officers found 385 grams of cocaine on top of a chest of drawers and a further 5.4 grams behind it.

In a wardrobe in the same room, hidden within a laundry bag was nearly half a kilo of high purity cocaine and inside a carrier bag 35 grams of crack cocaine was found.

Chambers was not at the address at the time of search and detectives set about trying to locate him.

Towards the end of 2013 an appeal was launched in the hope that someone would provide information as to Chambers' whereabouts. Information was not forthcoming and in March 2015 a £20,000 reward was offered followed by an appeal on Crimewatch in April of the same year.

Detectives worked tirelessly to locate Chambers but he continued to evade capture until he was stopped by police in a mini cab near Woolwich Ferry on 13 October 2016.

When asked to verify his identity, Chambers provided police with an alias, but satisfied that the person they had detained was Chambers the officers arrested him in connection with the gun and drugs found at the Southwark address.

Whilst en route to a south London police station Chambers told the arresting officer 'Well done, good job'. When asked what he had meant by the comment, Chambers confirmed his true identity.

Following the arrest, a search was conducted at a flat Chambers was living at on Harlinger Street. In the kitchen detectives located 56 grams of high purity cocaine. He was further arrested for this offence and was charged as above the following day.

The drugs found at the two addresses had a combined street value of £250,000.

Upon the discovery of the firearm in 2013, extensive forensic tests were carried out not only to link Chambers to the weapon but to also establish whether it had been used in any other incidents.

Tests confirmed that the Glock was used to murder 24-year-old Errol Davis on 5 October 2008. He was shot in front of 2,500 clubbers at a venue on Weston Street, SE1.

It was also linked to the murder of 25-year-old Larry Safie who was shot dead in East Dulwich Road on 22 February 2009.

The firearm was also connected to two attempted murders, one on 16 August 2007 in Station Rise, SE27, where the victim was shot five times and an incident in Welland House, Peckham Rye on 26 January 2009, where the victim was shot once in the shoulder.

Although the firearm used in these four incidents was found in Chambers' possession enquiries established that he was not responsible for the shootings and was merely holding the weapon for gang associates.

A man was arrested and charged in connection with the murders of Larry Safie and Errol Davis. He was acquitted following a trial. Enquiries continue into these two investigations.

A man was sentenced to six years' imprisonment on 18 April 2011 for the attempted murder in Welland House, Peckham Rye and there have been no arrests in connection with the attempted murder in Station Rise.

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