09/03/2009

Teenager Jailed For Possession Of Machine Guns

An 18-year-old has today been sentenced to nine years after a police operation recovered two Mac-10 machine guns linked to a Thames Valley gun factory.

In April last year Jonathan Hanson was arrested as part of a proactive operation by officers from Operation Trident.

Hanson, who was 17 at the time, was driving a stolen blue Mercedes CLK coupe in the Stockwell area.

Acting on intelligence that he and two others he was with were in possession of guns the car was followed by surveillance officers.

Armed officers attempted to stop the car but Hanson took evasive action, driving recklessly on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic at at high speed and through an estate.

After a short pursuit he lost control and hit a kerb, blowing out a tyre. Hanson was arrested in the car but his two friends ran away carrying the Mac-10s.

One of them turned and pointed his gun at the chasing armed officers, before turning into an estate and going out of view.

The guns were recovered after being dropped down rubbish chutes. They were loaded with 9mm ammunition and capable of firing.

A search of the car recovered a spent shell casing from one of the Mac-10s. Forensic tests showed firearms residue indicating that a shot or shots had been fired from it at some time previously.

The court heard how in October 2005, when he was 15, Hanson pleaded guilty to firearms offences and possession of heroin with intent.

They were also told that in previous investigations his computer and phones had been examined revealing picture of a Mac-10 and internet searches on reactivating guns.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Ratliffe, from Trident's South Proactive Team, said: "The conviction of Jonathan Hanson takes a very dangerous criminal off the streets. Despite his young age he has over a number of years immersed himself in criminality, which has undoubtedly had a negative impact on those who live in his local community. His conviction with a lengthy sentence should send a strong message to those who wish to follow in his footsteps that ultimately this lifestyle does not pay.

"Trident is committed to taking violent criminals off the streets, and in doing so removing a negative impact upon the communities they live in."

(JM/BMcC)

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