A St. Lucian was among a gang of four former British soldiers and a fifth man who were convicted in a United Kingdom court after a six-week trial for an international gun and drug smuggling operation.
The St. Lucian-born ex-soldier, Lance Laurent, 26, of Gloucester Street, Battersea, south-west London, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after admitting conspiring to import firearms. He was also found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs.
Reports are that Laurent had been a trooper with the Queen’s Royal Hussars.
According to a BBC report, the men were caught after firearms, ammunition and cocaine were found in a car arriving at Folkestone from Calais in January 2012.
Police officers discovered five handguns and three silencers, while 500g of cocaine was found in an Army issue boot covered in duct tape and curry powder to disguise the smell.
Police have named the ringleader as 26-year-old Lemar Loveless of Brydon Walk, Islington, north London, who had resigned from the army in November 2011 and was on terminal leave. He was jailed for 14 years after admitting conspiring to import firearms.
Loveless was also found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs.
The other men convicted were:
* Trave Dyce, 22, of Sydney Road, Smethwick, West Midlands. He was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he admitted conspiring to import drugs and firearms.
* Romone Mashalleck, 25, a civilian, of Huron Street, Balham, south London, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of conspiring to import firearms.
* Duran Wright, a former regimental police officer in the Army, was jailed for 10 years. The 28-year-old, of Jerningham Road, New Cross, south-east London, was found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs and firearms.
Dyce and Loveless had been troopers in the Queen’s Royal Hussars. They were all based in Germany.
Marshalleck was their civilian contact in London.
According to the BBC, “jurors heard Dyce, Laurent and Wright were serving soldiers while Loveless was on terminal leave ahead of his discharge from the Army.
Alison Saunders, of the CPS, said: “This was a planned conspiracy to bring weapons, ammunition and drugs into the UK organised by four soldiers, based in Germany, and their civilian contact in London.”
She said the full extent of those involved was only discovered when phone data was “meticulously analysed and a picture of those involved was created”.
She continued: “These deadly weapons could have gone on to be used in violent crimes.
“The high-purity cocaine that was imported had a street value of over £70,000 and would almost certainly have made big profits for criminal gangs while damaging lives.”
SOURCE: BBC Report