Drug dealer who hid gun in loft sentenced for part in 'lucrative' enterprise
PUBLISHED: 17:31 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:31 19 July 2019
A 26-year-old county lines drug dealer from Liverpool who had a shotgun hidden in a house in Norwich has been jailed for six years for his part in a "lucrative" drug-dealing enterprise.
James Elliott, from Merseyside, Liverpool, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, July 19, where he was sentenced to six years in prison for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and the possession of a shotgun without a licence.
The court heard how on Monday, March 11, 2019 officers attended a hotel in the Riverside area of Norwich to arrest Elliott on suspicion of possession of a shotgun without a certificate.
Whilst there they found him with approximately £2,000 worth of Class A drugs, £3,500 in cash and mobile phones and were alerted to a loft hatch which had been disturbed.
Following a search, officers found a holdall containing a double barrelled shotgun, which was later examined and found to contain Elliott's fingerprints.
Jailing him, Judge Andrew Shaw said this was a "lucrative" drug dealing enterprise.
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He said that what made it more serious was that he had links to a fully working shotgun which was found in the loft at a house in Norwich, although there was no evidence it had been used.
"This was a working shotgun," he added, and said that the possession of the gun was linked to serious organised crime.
Analysis of the phone later revealed it had sent and received texts and calls in relation to the sale of crack cocaine and heroin.
The gun was discovered in the course of enquiries into an incident last year in which an unarmed 19-year-old from London was shot in the back in a park off Adelaide Street in the early hours of June 27, 2018, in what was thought to have been an attempt to rob him of drugs.
The court heard there was no suggestion Elliott's gun was used during the park shooting.
Kallum Eastall, 18, and Jake Brittain, 26, subsequently pleaded guilty to alternative charges of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent.
They are both due to be sentenced in September.
At a previous court hearing, Elliott, of St Helens, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A substances, namely crack cocaine and heroin, and possession of a shotgun without a certificate.