TWO MEN from Frankley have been convicted and jailed over firearms and ammunition offences.
Simon Graham, 39, of Holly Hill Road, admitted four charges of selling ammunition and was jailed for five years and six months.
Bailey McIlroy, 19, of Lysander Road, was found guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition and was yesterday (Friday, November 24) jailed for three years.
Yesterday, West Midlands Police released a video the underworld gun dealer during a major investigation into the supply of firearms and ammunition in Birmingham.
Tony Graham, 40, arranged the sales and then directed his younger brother Simon to act as a courier for the firearms.
He bought so-called obsolete calibre guns, which are legal but are intended for collectors. They cannot be fired as ammunition is no longer made for them.
But he bought a kit legally from a foreign website which gave him the tools to make bullets for those antique firearms.
Police say it is not clear how many weapons he bought, but he made more than 100 enquiries with an online retailer of the weapons.
Tony would get Simon to courier the bullets to other criminals who already had access to guns capable of firing them.
The dismantling of the criminal enterprise was carried out by the Regional Organised Crime Unit for the West Midlands (ROCUWM) falls under Operation Target, which is a Midland-wide drive to bring down the most serious offenders.
Cousins Bernard and Tony Stokes, who were customers of the Graham brothers, have also been convicted.
They travelled from Basildon in Essex to Rubery on June 14, 2021 to buy ammunition for an obsolete calibre weapon.
But following a surveillance operation, they were stopped in Wembley later the same day at gunpoint. In their car, were two machetes, a knife as well as four bullets wrapped in clingfilm hidden in a pair of gloves.
Simon and Tony Graham’s DNA was found on one of the gloves, while Simon’s was found on the bullets.
The investigation also found that Simon Graham had supplied a gun which was seized from a gang of armed men in a BMW in Kings Norton on May 13, 2021, in an operation led by the National Crime Agency.
And on June 17, a curry sauce jar filled with bullets was found at Simon Graham’s house on Holly Hill Road, Rubery.
And on August 6, we recovered a loaded handgun which had been converted from a blank-firing weapon to a live-firing weapon.
It was found by a police dog trained to sniff out firearms after being dumped by Bailey McIlroy when he and Tony Graham, who had supplied him with the gun, were spotted and chased by police.
Graham, 40, who admitted possession of a firearm and four charges of selling or transferring ammunition – he was jailed for eight years and one month earlier this year.
Bernard Stokes, 33, of Billericay, Essex, and Tony Stokes, 27, of no fixed address, both admitted possession of ammunition and were each jailed for two years, suspended for 21 months.
Det Insp Amar Patel, from ROCUWM, said: “Tony Graham was a trusted supplier of ammunition, with people willing to travel across the country to buy from him.
“He had a real interest in firearms and a determination to profit from their sale within the criminal underworld.
“The extent of his operation and the number of weapons and bullets he was involved in selling is not clear, but what is clear is that the dismantling of his operation will have been a major blow to serious and organised crime in the West Midlands and beyond.
“We are relentless in our pursuit of organised criminals, who cause massive damage to communities.”
He urged anyone with information about serious and organised crime in their area should get in touch via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
And he added, no matter how small the piece of information, it could prove vital in bringing criminals to justice.