West Midlands Police Crack Down On Gun Crime
25th July 2016
More armed crooks are starting long stretches behind bars after becoming the latest targets to feel the force of West Midlands Police's offensive against firearms.
Drug dealers Jayden Lemathy and Rowan Youngsam were found with two loaded shotguns - plus lock knives and wraps of crack cocaine and heroin - when the stolen vehicle they were travelling in was stopped by armed police in Aston.
Lemathy (23), from Holt Road in Aston, was jailed for six years and 20-year-old Youngsam, from Lyndon Close in Handsworth Wood, sent to a young offenders institute for seven years after being convicted at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (July 22).
And in a separate case Sandwell man Imran Ahmed (pictured) was jailed for eight years after West Midlands Police uncovered two revolvers - including one hidden under bathroom floorboards - during a raid on his Tipton home.
Ahmed, aged 36, appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday where he was convicted of firearms and drugs offences.
West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes vowed there will be no let-up in the force's offensive to rid the region's streets of firearms.
He said: "Members of the public should feel reassured that these men have been handed lengthy custodial sentences - it shows the courts and police are united in a strong message that illegally held firearms are totally unacceptable.
"No shots were fired in either of these cases but possession alone of illegal guns is enough to warrant jail sentences of many years.
"Our officers are working around the clock to close-in on individuals or gangs who bring fear to our communities -we're disrupting crime networks, seizing weapons and punishing people who believe they can carry firearms with impunity.
"There must be no let-up in our approach to tackling firearms.
Lemathy, Youngsam and a 16-year-old from Handsworth - who cannot be named for legal reasons - were stopped in Birchfield Road, Aston, by armed police at around 10pm on January 6.
Inside a black rucksack the officers found two shotguns - one with a shortened barrel - 13 wraps of crack cocaine, seven wraps of heroin, almost £2,000 cash, and two lock knives.
Checks showed that the VW Golf they were travelling in was on false plates and had been stolen from Star City nine days earlier.
The 16-year-old also appeared in court on Friday where he was sent to a young offenders institute for five years.
Officers raided Ahmed's home in Victoria Road in the early hours of 19 May; one handgun was found under a loose bathroom floorboard alongside ammunition and another stashed under a bed.
Ahmed had been on prison release licence since 2013 having been previously jailed for possessing a sawn-off shotgun.
ACC Foulkes urged anyone with concerns or suspicions about gun possession in their community to get in touch so the force could take action.
He added: "The public are our eyes and ears and I want to appeal directly to the communities of Birmingham to please contact us with any information you have about gun and gang crime in our city. Together we can and will get through this difficult period and take these guns off our streets."