A man from Norfolk has been sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years for supplying firearms following a covert National Crime Agency investigation.
44-year-old Jurijs Ragozins from Kings Lynn was arrested on Friday 26 April after offering to sell weapons to an undercover NCA officer.
He was unaware that his meetings had been under surveillance by the NCA and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
Twelve Turkish-made Zoraki handguns, 29 stun guns, and ammunition were recovered by investigators. They had been hidden inside a water pump and computer tower which were both in the boot of his car at the time of his arrest.The handguns were originally blank firing weapons which had been converted to use conventional ammunition.
An additional bag of ammunition was also found by officers, it had been hidden in undergrowth at the side of a country lane near Castle Rising, just outside Kings Lynn.
Ragozins had already been linked to the seizure of two other weapons, one Zoraki and one Magnum, both had been converted from blank firers.
Following his arrest Ragozins was charged with being concerned in the supply of firearms.
On Friday 7 June at Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced today to life imprisonment.
NCA branch commander Martin Huxley said:
"Preventing firearms from reaching the hands of criminals is a key priority for the NCA and our law enforcement partners.
“We know there are strong connections between firearms and drug supply, and weapons such as these are attractive to organised crime groups because they are so easy to conceal.
"Had we not stopped Ragozins in his tracks I've no doubt these guns would have been used to commit violent acts on our streets, causing significant harm to the communities we are determined to protect.”
NCA Regional Head of Investigations, Andrea Wilson, added:
“The evidence we were able to put forward was key to this guilty plea being secured so early, and I'd particularly like to thank our partners at ERSOU and Norfolk Police for their support and assistance throughout this operation."