Dispatch district man jailed for part in illegal gun trade plot

Two men have been jailed after regional detectives, supported by Nottinghamshire Police, foiled a plot to transfer a prohibited sawn-off shotgun and ammunition.

Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 9:30 am

Police officers arrested 34-year-old Nathan Clifford outside an address in Caldbeck Walk in Bestwood after he was seen with a carrier bag suspected to contain a firearm.

It contained a viable sawn-off shot gun which was wrapped in a bed sheet.

Also wrapped in the sheet were eight shotgun cartridges – most of which were the correct bore for the shotgun recovered – and a shotgun foregrip.

Nathan Clifford (left) has been jailed for his part in the plot, along with Adrian Keeling (right)

Further examination showed the weapon had all the required parts to make it a viable and functioning firearm.

Around the same time Clifford was arrested on December 30, 2020, a van was seen to drive into the area.

On seeing the police activity, the vehicle was seen to make a hasty retreat from the area but it was followed and stopped by police who arrested the sole occupant – 36-year-old Adrian Keeling.

On Tuesday, June 7, Clifford, of Caldbeck Walk, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing.

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He was locked up for eight years and four months after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to transfer a prohibited firearm and possession of firearm ammunition when prohibited.

Keeling, of HMP Doncaster, who also pleaded guilty to separate drugs offences, was sentenced to 11 years and eight months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on April 29.

Detective Inspector Mark Adas said: “This was an extensive investigation which involved some great investigative work from experts in the region and has resulted in a lethal firearm and two dangerous men being removed from our streets.

“Seizures of this nature protect the public and are an invaluable part of our fight against organised crime.

“Firearms can be deadly in the wrong hands so I’m very pleased we were able to take this gun out of circulation which would no doubt have been used to further the criminal aims of those commissioning its use.

“Firearms offences are treated extremely seriously by police who remain committed to taking weapons off the streets.

"Information is vital in doing this and I would urge anyone with information about illegal firearms to contact police immediately on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Your actions could well help save someone’s life.”