Liverpool

Hidden cameras foil Liverpool gang's gun smuggling plot

Joseph Halsall opening the shipment Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Joseph Halsall captured as he realised the gang's plan had been thwarted by police

A gang's attempt to smuggle guns into the UK via the dark web was foiled when detectives replaced the weapons with hidden cameras.

Josh Ali, 25, Joseph Halsall and Daniel Humphries, both 23, ordered the semi-automatic pistols from the US.

US Homeland Security officers spotted the weapons hidden in a guitar amp and contacted Merseyside Police.

The men were jailed on Friday after they were filmed opening the parcel at Halsall's Liverpool home.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Josh Ali, Joseph Halsall and Daniel Humphries looking for the weapons they had ordered
Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Joseph Halsall, Daniel Humphries and Josh Ali received lengthy jail sentences

Halsall of Newsham Drive, Tuebrook, Humphries, of Waltham Road, Anfield, and Ali of Montrose Road, Tuebrook, were each sentenced to eight years and eight months for firearms offences at Liverpool Crown Court.

All three pleaded guilty to:

  • Conspiracy to import a prohibited firearm and ammunition
  • Conspiracy to possess a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life or to enable another to do so
  • Conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited firearms
  • Conspiracy to possess a firearm without a certificate
Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption The men had tried to smuggle semi-automatic weapons from the US
Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption The weapons were concealed in a guitar amp

Det Supt John Webster said: "Thankfully these three men are now behind bars thanks to the fantastic efforts of a team of officers."

He said the case sent out a "strong message" to those involved in gun crime.

"These three men conspired to import potentially lethal weapons onto the streets of Merseyside," he added.

"Weapons are not toys and in the wrong hands can cause serious injury or even death to the offenders using them, and more importantly to innocent members of the public who may be nearby."

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