Cambridgeshire

On-the-run Wisbech gun smuggler jailed for 14 years

Guns Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Three handguns were hidden in a boom box music speaker in the back of a van

A man who fled to Spain after being arrested for trying to smuggle weapons into the UK has been jailed for more than 14 years.

Guns and ammunition destined for Wisbech man Marius Supelis were found in a van at the French border in 2014.

Other weapons and drugs were found at his house by Cambridgeshire Police.

Supelis, 35, was charged with drug and gun offences but fled to Spain where he was arrested last year. He was jailed on Wednesday following a trial.

He was found guilty of attempting to smuggle weapons into the UK and jailed for 14 years and four months at the Peterborough Crown Court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to failing to surrender, possessing a disguised firearm, two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate, and four counts of possessing a class B drug with intent.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Marius Supelis denied trying to import the weapons into the UK from Lithuania

The Lithuanian national came to the attention of police after border police stopped a van at the Channel Tunnel terminal in France on 20 June, 2014.

Three handguns and ammunition were found hidden in a music speaker and TV.

The van driver said they were to be delivered to Supelis at his Wisbech address.

Police searched his home that evening and discovered drugs, a gas canister, two stun guns, pepper spray, six brass bullets, a cannabis grinder and a laptop.

The guns had been adapted to fire live ammunition and the bullets found in his bedroom were identical to those seized from the delivery van in France.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Bullets were hidden inside a TV set in the van

Phone evidence showed Supelis had been in contact with delivery drivers and had arranged for the speaker and TV to be picked up from his mother's address in Lithuania.

He denied any involvement in smuggling the guns but said he needed the pepper spray and stun guns found at his home for protection, because Wisbech was a "dangerous place".

He was bailed to attend court in May 2015 but fled the UK two days before his court hearing.

Supelis was arrested in April 2018, in Valencia.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption The guns were in a music speaker, on a specially constructed shelf, hidden by a blanket

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