Nosakhere Stephenson: Leader of gun dealing ring jailed
A "notorious gang member" has been jailed for 16 and a half years after a firearms supply ring he led was smashed in an undercover sting.
Nosakhere Stephenson masterminded an operation to sell antique firearms and specially-made bullets to criminals, said West Midlands Police.
He and five other men were jailed after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply guns in Birmingham and beyond.
Another 12 men await sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.
Police say Stephenson, known as "Nosa", was long linked to the Burger Bar gang who for years fought a bloody and protracted feud with the rival Johnson Crew.
His Honour Judge Burbidge, sitting at Birmingham Crown court, said Stephenson was the "go to man" and "the directing mind" of an organised crime group when it came to obtaining firearms.
Officers seized eight firearms including a pump action shotgun and a Mach 10 Machine pistol under "Operation Cookie", said West Midlands Police.
The gang had thousands of rounds of ammunition specially made to be used with antique pistols and revolvers, which they sold for about £3,000 each, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Guns were recovered from premises in Great Barr and Handsworth and on one occasion from a car in Hockley as it was being handed over to a buyer.
The sting, which was set up in summer 2014, involved surveillance over many months and saw detectives intercept the movement of weapons from suppliers to buyers on five separate occasions.
Guilty pleas and sentences
Nosakhere Stephenson, 41, of St Michael's Road, Handsworth, Birmingham: 16 years 6 months
Sundish Nazran, 32, of Nijon Close, Handsworth, Birmingham: 13 years
Fitzroy Ducram, 50, of no fixed address: 7 years 4 months
Rowan Gul, 33, of Reginald Road, Alum Rock, Birmingham: 12 years 3 months
Louis McDermott, 36, of no fixed address: 9 years 4 months
Theodore Junior Wiggan, 28, of Scaffle Way, West Bromwich: 10 years
Although Stephenson was never caught in possession of the guns, phone records linked him to each deal and every other person in the conspiracy - including his right-hand man, Sundish Nazran.
Stephenson, Nazran and others admitted conspiracy to transfer guns and ammunition between 4 March 2014 and 17 January 2015.