Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottingham

Armed police raid recovers 15 handguns in ‘makeshift factory’ at one Notts address

A cache of guns found at a makeshift gun factory were discovered when armed police stormed a house following a warrant being triggered.

Fifteen blank-firing pistols were found when they swooped on a property in Marples Avenue, in Mansfield Woodhouse, at 7:20 pm on Tuesday.

The hoard of guns was discovered in a garage alongside equipment to convert them into lethal, live firing handguns.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Tim Walters said: “This represents a really significant triumph in our fight against gun crime.

“From a prevent perspective, this is a hugely significant find. Typically, 15-20 illegally held firearms are seized across the region in any year period – to seize 15 in a single raid is fantastic news.

“No-one should ever have to feel threatened by someone carrying or using guns, which is why we are focussed as a force on recovering any gun or other lethal weapons.”

The operation was carried out following intelligence that organised crime groups have the ability to convert harmless blank firing pistols into lethal handguns.

The Tactical Firearms commander for the operation, Superintendent Sukesh Verma, said the dismantling of such an illegal workshop in Nottinghamshire was of massive importance.

He said: “These weapons can have a catastrophic impact and enable serious and organised crime, which affects us all.

“That is why we are focused as a force on recovering any gun or other lethal weapons.

“We will continue to investigate and use disruption tactics, like warrants for arrests, as we work to protect and safeguard those living across the city and county.”

He added gun crime is at an all-time low across Nottinghamshire and this is a result of pre-planned operations along with the preventative work that the force is doing to help take firearms off the streets.

Andrew Wheelhouse, aged 40, of Marples Avenue, Mansfield Woodhouse, has been charged in connection with this incident. He appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life, or enable others to do so. He was remanded in custody to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on 30 July.

This raid followed hot on the heels of another carried out by the force earlier this week that resulted in a man being charged following a previous discovery of a handgun at a house.

Warrants were carried out at two addresses in Brassington Close, Giltbrook, and Fircroft Avenue, Bilborough, at 7am on Monday morning.

A 27-year-old man of no fixed address has since been charged with possession of a firearm in connection with this offence and has already appeared in court.