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10 firearms recovered and man charged in National Crime Agency investigation

Written by on 13/03/2024

Ten firearms have been recovered and a man charged in a National Crime Agency investigation into the conversion of blank firing weapons.

The Ekol top-venting blank firing pistols – which are convertible into lethal weapons – were recovered on Thursday in an operation led by the NCA’s armed operations unit (AOU).

Because of ongoing operational work, details can now only be made available.

The firearms were recovered along with a quantity of live ammunition and a silencer from an industrial premises in Kendal, Cumbria.

When the premises were searched a suspicious device was found and later confirmed not to be an explosive after Army bomb disposal experts were called in.

A residential property in Kendal was also searched and five nearby flats evacuated as a precaution after a suspected unknown chemical was found. The substance was safely removed and occupants allowed back soon after.

The NCA was supported by Cumbria Constabulary officers and other emergency services.

Today, Dudley Brennan, 29, of Sandes Avenue, Kendal, Cumbria, appeared at Manchester Crown Court charged with conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm and possession of ammunition. He was remanded to return to court on 15 April.

Last night, two other suspects were arrested as part of the investigation, in an AOU-led strike at an address in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria.

A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply firearms and a woman aged 43 was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Both were further arrested in relation to drugs offences.

They remain in custody for questioning.

Last week, two other suspects, a 30-year-old man and a woman aged 47 were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply firearms. They were released on bail.

Richard Harrison, NCA regional head of investigations, said: “This has been a fast-paced investigation which has involved the help of Cumbria Police and other agencies, to whom we are very grateful for their assistance.

“Tackling the threat of firearms is a top priority for the NCA in its mission to protect the public.”

The investigation continues.