This is the moment a violent, drug dealing gangster fired multiple shots in a residential street – striking a rival in the neck and putting other lives at risk.
Akeem Chand, who was today ( Monday 25 October) jailed for life for drugs and firearms offences, was caught on camera as he fired multiple shots at a car.
Just moments before he and fellow gang member Quarnell Simpson had set up a hastily arranged ambush in Brindley Road, Bilborough.
Footage captured on CCTV cameras showed Chand running along the road after getting out of a car driven by Simpson.
Simpson then backed away – luring the victim towards a waiting Chand who then pounced and fired a .44 calibre revolver at close quarters into the car, striking the victim in the neck.
Showing a brazen disregard for the safety of members of the public, he then discharged two more shots as his victim sped from the scene in panic.
Unbeknown to Chand, the attack, on May 9 2019, had been captured on the victim’s dash-cam – giving police a detailed account of what had happened.
Chand, an aspiring drill musician, was the leader of a gang that sold vast quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin on the streets of Nottingham, Mansfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and other areas of Nottinghamshire.
He and his fellow gang members flaunted their ill-gotten wealth on designer clothes and jewellery, and the production of increasingly lavish music videos.
At one point in March 2019 several members of the gang – who had almost no legitimate income between them – flew to Mexico’s Caribbean coast where they stayed in a lavishly appointed private villa and even hired a luxury motor yacht.
Both were used as locations for a professionally-produced music video recorded on the trip. In it the gang bragged about dealing drugs, posed with their jewellery and boasted about how they needed a ‘Money Counter’ to count their profits.
Chand and his criminal associates came to the attention of Nottinghamshire Police after a series of linked shootings in late 2018 and the first half of 2019.
They were finally brought to justice after an extensive covert police operation, during which a listening device planted in a car caught the gang openly discussing the sale of drugs and the shooting of rivals.
After a trial lasting more than 15 weeks six men were convicted by a jury of two charges – conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition without a certificate. Each of them had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs.
They appeared at Nottingham Crown Court today and were sentenced as follows:
- Akeem Chand, 27, formerly of Melbourne Road, Aspley, was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 20 years before he becomes eligible for parole
- Orlando Escoffery, 26, formerly of Fenton Road, Basford, was jailed for 23 years
- Quarnell Simpson, 24, formerly of Nuthall Road, Aspley, was jailed for 20 years
- Devante Neufville, 24, of no fixed address, was jailed for 20 years
- Alexsandro Woolery, 27, formerly of Portland Road, Carlton, will be sentenced at a later date for the same offences
- Kiefer Smith, 28, formerly of Dallman Close, Hucknall, will also be sentenced at a later date for the same offences.
A seventh man, Ravan Mather-Simpson, 25, formerly of Mansfield Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, pleaded guilty before the trial to conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs. He was sentenced to nine years and was also jailed for a further 16 months for separate incident of affray.
Another woman, Sarah Aplin, 27, of Wyton Close, Bestwood, had previously admitted to a charge of allowing a premises to used for the supply of controlled drug. She was jailed for two years and three months.
Zak Charles, now aged 19, was found guilty of the conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition without a certificate – offences he committed when he was still a child. Charles, of Bulwell, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institution.
Police were alerted to the activities of the gang by a series of shootings – the first of which took place in Minver Crescent, Aspley, on 13 December 2018 when a shot was fired at a car suspected to contain rival gang members. Chand was ultimately arrested for this offence.
Things really began to unravel for the gang on 9 May 2019 when Chand and Simpson were caught in camera committing the shooting in Bilborough.
Only a few days later on the night of 12 May shots were fired at the empty vehicle of a gang member in an apparent revenge attack in Meregill Close – another residential street.
Detectives at Nottinghamshire Police were convinced that the shootings were linked and that Chand and his associates were involved. As a result, a covert listening device was deployed to monitor conversations in Chand’s car. Detectives later retrieved audio of Chand and his associates conducting multiple drug deals and even discussing the shooting of a rival.
A shooting would be later carried out on the evening of 22 May in Hazel Hill Crescent, Bestwood – again targeted at a rival gang who had knocked one of Chand’s associates off his motorcycle. Two men on a motorcycle eventually fired four shots at the building – shattering two windows and leaving bullets lodged in a living room wall.
The cycle of tit-for-tat shootings was concluded on 27 May in Melbourne Road, Aspley, when a shotgun was fired through the front window of Chand’s then home address.
Now armed with very compelling evidence the Detectives moved in and arrested the gang. Subsequent property searches revealed significant quantities of drugs, cash and guns, one of which was forensically linked to the Hazel Hill Crescent shooting.
Although they were not able to prove conclusively who pulled the trigger in every offence and successfully argued instead that the men had all conspired together to store and use the weapons in a way that posed a clear and obvious risk to life.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Bull, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “As this footage makes clear, these men were extremely dangerous. Led by Chand they had built up an extremely profitable drugs empire and were very clearly willing to use potentially lethal violence to protect it from people they saw as rivals.
“Discharging a firearm in a residential street was an act of staggering recklessness that showed a callous disregard for the safety of local residents. It was only a matter of good fortune that nobody was killed or seriously injured in this attack.
“Ultimately it was this ready use of violence that led to this gang’s undoing. Shooting incidents are both incredibly rare and extremely serious, so when they do happen we dedicate whatever resources we deem necessary to finding the people responsible and taking their weapons off the streets.
“One of the first questions we ask in investigations like this is of course ‘why?’ In this case that question led us directly to Chand and his associates, who will each spend a very considerable time in jail as a result of their actions. I hope that today’s sentences send a very clear warning to other criminals about the potential consequences of acquiring and using illegal firearms. We will find you and when we do we will lock you up for a very long time.”