A man from Salford is one of two who has been jailed for a series of firearms offences.
At Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday 28 August Matthew Ashton, 33, was jailed for four and a half years for three counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of cocaine with intent to supply, and possession of the banned Class A stimulant methylamphetamine.
Laurence Golesworthy, 26, of Hay on Wye, Powys pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Golesworthy, and Ashton, of Formby Road in Salford, were arrested after a police investigation into the sale of convertible firearms over the internet.
Greater Manchester Police discovered that Golesworthy had bought a gun through an online auction site, and raided his home on 5 June 2013, seizing a a telescopic sight for a rifle.
Officers went on to search his car where they found a handmade handgun, a submachine gun, and a self-loading pistol which had been converted to fire live ammunition. A ballistic bulletproof vest and several rounds of blank ammunition were also uncovered.
On 24 June 2013, Ashton was arrested and his home searched. In addition to cocaine and drugs paraphernalia, officers discovered two stun guns, including one disguised as a torch, and a CS gas canister.
He was bailed but later arrested on 18 July 2013 following a collision. His holdall bag was searched as part of a separate investigation and a handgun was discovered.
Detective Inspector Chris Mossop from the Organised Crime Coordination Unit said: “The guns purchased by these men were capable of discharging CS gas which in itself is an illegal weapon and can cause coughing, sneezing and a severe burning sensation if it comes into contact with eyes because of its irritant agent.
“However, what is more worrying is that the guns were readily convertible into live firing, lethal purpose, firearms. That is to say the handguns could be adapted to allow bullets to be fired – having the potential to cause serious injury or death.
“Our operation led to a significant number of dangerous weapons being taken off the streets, and these men are now behind bars, but our work hasn’t stopped and we continue to target those who are selling and keeping firearms illegally.”