Gun runner jailed for life after offering to sell weapons to undercover police officer

Jurijs Ragozins, 44, who has been jailed for life after being caught with 44 weapons after offering them for sale to an undercover police officer

A gunrunner caught red-handed with more than 40 firearms has been jailed for life.

Jurijs Ragozins, 44, was arrested in April after offering to sell weapons to an undercover cop.

Ragozins was unaware that his meetings had been under surveillance by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Twelve Turkish-made Zoraki handguns, 29 stun guns, and ammunition were recovered.

They had been hidden inside a water pump and computer which were both in the boot of Ragozins' car when he was arrested.

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The handguns were originally blank firing weapons which had been converted to use conventional ammunition.

An additional bag of ammunition was also found hidden in undergrowth at the side of a country lane near Castle Rising, just outside Kings Lynn, in Norfolk.

Ragozins, of Kings Lynn, had already been linked to the seizure of two other weapons, one Zoraki and one Magnum, which had both been converted from firing blanks.

He was charged with being concerned in the supply of firearms.

Ragozins pleaded guilty to the charge last month and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years.

Ammunition seized from Jurijs Ragozins. (SWNS)

Martin Huxley, NCA branch commander, 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.”

Andrea Wilson, NCA Regional Head of Investigations, added: “The evidence we were able to put forward was key to this guilty plea being secured so early.

"I'd particularly like to thank our partners at ERSOU and Norfolk Police for their support and assistance throughout this operation."

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