Three Sheffield men jailed for 27 years for owning guns and making ammo

The guns seized by police
The guns seized by police
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Three Sheffield men have been sentenced to a combined total of 27 years in prison for a variety of firearms offences, including making ammunition.

Raymond Todd, aged 55, of Sicey Avenue, Shirecliffe, and Byron Cowling, 44, of Newman Court, Wincobank, were both convicted at Sheffield Crown Court.

Raymond Todd

Raymond Todd

Todd was found guilty of five counts of possession for sale or transfer of a prohibited firearm, as well as possession of live ammunition for sale or transfer and the manufacture of ammunition.

Cowling was found guilty of three counts of possession of a prohibited firearm.

The third man, James Todd, 29, of Vikinglea Drive, Manor, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of possession of a firearm.

Raymond Todd has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars, Cowling will serve seven years and James Todd was jailed for five years.

Byron Cowling

Byron Cowling

A joint investigation with the National Crime Agency’s Armed Operations Unit resulted in the arrest of James Todd on 21 November 2014, after officers stopped his car on Sutherland Street in Pitsmoor.

On searching the vehicle, two handguns were discovered, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a carrier bag.

Raymond Todd and Cowling were both arrested on Thursday 29 January this year. Todd was stopped in his car on Bellhouse Road in Firth Park, shortly after he was seen to leave Cowling’s address in Wincobank.

Live ammunition was recovered from Todd that consisted of 32, 9mm and .44mm rounds.

James Todd

James Todd

Cowling was arrested later that day after his address on Newman Court was searched and officers recovered three handguns, further rounds of live ammunition and all the component parts and equipment required to manufacture ammunition.

DC Chris Blincow, investigating, said: “I am very pleased with the result today and I hope it sends out a very clear message that we will take action against people who choose to break the law.

“The firearms and ammunition we recovered as part of this investigation have now all been destroyed and by taking these weapons off the streets and out of circulation, it means they are not in the hands of criminals and they cannot be used in any form of criminality.

“Gun crime is relatively low in South Yorkshire, however we are determined to drive this figure down even further and keep our streets safe from this type of crime.”

Brent Lyon, Operations Manager at the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit said: “Working with our colleagues from South Yorkshire Police, we have successfully dismantled this organised crime group whose activities could have caused significant harm to the people of South Yorkshire and beyond.

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to tackle serious and organised crime across the UK.”