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Drugs and weapons gang jailed for more than 30 years

This loaded gun has been taken off the streets of the West Midlands and four men have been jailed for a combined total of more than 30 years after a major police investigation.

It was found after surveillance officers watched a man bag being passed into a Mercedes in a pre-arranged meeting on Scots Lane, Coventry.

In the bag was this St. Etienne revolver, with three rounds that had already been fired in the chamber, as well as 15 loose bullets.

bag, gun and bullets

Mercedes driver Waqar Iftikhar, 31, and passenger Mohammed Tahir Mirza, 33, were arrested when officers stopped the car following the deal.

Matthew McKeown, 27, who handed the bag into the Mercedes, went on the run along with Daniel Sheridan, 26, who was also present at the deal, which happened on 26 August 2017.

The day before, phone evidence showed that Sheridan, Dunn and Iftikhar had met up in Meriden where it is believed they arranged the deal. 

Tahir Mirza & Waqar Iftikhar
Jailed: Mohammed Tahir Mirza and Waqar Iftikhar

In the car was documentation mentioning a flat on Erdington High Street, where 100 cannabis plants with a value of at least £28,000 was found, along with a stolen Ford Escort on false plates.

McKeown and Sheridan went on the run but were traced to Skegness in June last year and arrested.

Erdington cannabis factory
Cannabis factory on Erdington High Street, where 100 cannabis plants were found

Detective Chief Inspector Ronan Tyrer, of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) which led the investigation, said: “Great police work has led to the recovery of a loaded gun off the streets of the West Midlands.

“ROCU is determined to use all of its specialist techniques and resources to disrupt and bring down the most serious criminals across the region."

Sheriden & McKeown
Jailed: Daniel Sheriden and Matthew McKeown

On Thursday (28 March) Sheridan, McKeown and Iftikhar were each jailed for nine years following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court in January. 

Sheridan, of Glencoe Road, Stoke, Coventry, and McKeown, of Norman Place Road, Coundon, Coventry were convicted of conspiracy to transfer the gun and ammunition.

Iftikhar, of Sedgmere Road, Yardley, was found guilty of possession of the gun and ammunition. 

Mirza, of Treaford Lane, Alum Rock, Birmingham, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after admitting possession of the firearm and ammunition, as well as cannabis production and handling stolen goods.

Police are still hunting for Jamie Dunn, 37, as part of the investigation. 

Wanted - Jamie Dunn
Jamie Dunn is still wanted as part of the investigation

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk, via 101, or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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