NABIS Ballistics Expert Gets Award From Chief Constable

19th January 2017

NABIS Ballistics Expert Gregg Taylor has been given a Chief Constable's award for his work on Operation Cookie, which saw a gang of men jailed for supplying firearms.

Gregg received the team award on Tues 17 January from West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson. Gregg shared the award with 12 others, including police officers and staff from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The major investigation began in April 2014 and resulted in 18 men being handed custodial sentences. Detectives intercepted the movement of weapons from suppliers to buyers on five separate occasions, resulting in the recovery of a total of eight firearms. These included a MAC-10 machine gun and pump action shotgun which were found buried in a garden in Aston, Birmingham - as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Prosecutors said Nosakhere Stephenson, described as a central figure with the notorious Burger Bar gang, masterminded the operation to supply guns (some of which were antique).

In a landmark ruling in March 2016 the original sentences were quashed and increased jail terms were given for 16 offenders. The Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC had argued the original sentences handed down at Birmingham Crown Court were too lenient. In total the gang will be spending around 51 extra years behind bars.

The citation for the award reads: "This operation has made the streets of the West Midlands significantly safer and a network of criminals who were supplying firearms to networks across Birmingham has been convicted. Each of the individuals being awarded have played a major part in the success of this operation, including police officers, police staff and members of the prosecution team who were individually and collectively superb throughout.

"Aside from their professionalism, innovation and judgement, this team's ceaseless working regime achieved what many thought was impossible. The defendants are now serving lengthy custodial sentences."

Gregg, who is based at the forensic lab in Birmingham, has worked for NABIS since the organisation began in 2008. He said: "I was very pleased to be awarded a Chief Constables Team Award for my involvement in Operation Cookie. It was a complex and demanding piece of forensic work which helped to 'link' incidents together. As a NABIS Ballistics Expert, I am proud to have played a part in helping to secure significant custodial sentences for the notorious defendants involved."

Head of NABIS, Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, attended the awards ceremony. She said: "It's good to see the contribution of NABIS in these complex firearms investigations being recognised. Well done Gregg, I know the enormous amount of work that went into this case."

NABIS work with police forces across the UK to help detect gun crime and has ballistics experts and forensic labs in Manchester, London and Scotland, as well as Birmingham.

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