Peacehaven man sentenced for firearms offence

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The head of an organised crime group from Peacehaven was sentenced to nine years at Hove Crown Court for firearms offences.

Ryan Carden, 28, of Shannon Close, was jailed on Thursday November 21 having previously been convicted of aiding and abetting the transfer of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition.

He was found not guilty of charges of conspiracy to supply heroin and amphetamine as well as money laundering, on Monday November 11.

Five other people had previously been convicted during earlier court hearings as part of the same investigation.

Three had already been sentenced and two were sentenced with Ryan Carden on Thursday.

Craig Carden, 26, of Sheerness, Kent, a cousin of Ryan Carden, had pleaded guilty to possession of the same sawn-off shotgun. He was sentenced on Thursday to five years imprisonment.

Stephen Fox, 52, of Fletching Close, Brighton, was sentenced on Thursday to a total of 12 years imprisonment.

He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer a prohibited firearm - the same sawn-off shotgun, for which he was sentenced to five years; two years for conspiring to supply amphetamine, and five years for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

He also received two years for possession of amphetamine with intent to supply, one year for possession of cannabis with intent to supply,and a further year for possession of BZP with intent to supply.

All three of these sentences will run concurrently with the sentence for the cocaine offence.

At a hearing at the same court on December 18 the prosecution will apply for Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOs) to be served on Ryan Carden and Fox.

Paul Mogan, 32, of Mackets Lane, Halewood, Merseyside, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply and was sentenced to five years imprisonment at the same court on March 30 this year.

Paul Connor, 28, of Blacksmith Place, also in Halewood, had previously pleaded guilty, with Mogan, to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and was also sentenced on March 30 to eight years imprisonment which was reduced to six years on appeal.

William Davies, 29 of Sheerness, Kent, had previously been convicted of possessing amphetamine with intent to supply and has already been sentenced at an earlier hearing to a 12-month community order and 180 hours of unpaid work.

In sentencing Ryan and Craig Carden, and Fox, Judge Niblett said that Ryan Carden had been in control of an organised crime group, with Fox as his quartermaster.

He added that the police had undertaken a very thorough and well executed operation, which had disrupted a major and sophisticated drugs network operating in Brighton and Hove.

He also praised the prosecution carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Detective Inspector Till Sanderson of the Sussex Police Serious Organised Crime Unit said; “Our investigation focussed on an organised crime group in Sussex who were actively engaged in the supply of Class A and B drugs, and led to the seizure of significant quantities of drugs - one kilo of heroin, 1.2 kilos of cocaine, 1.7 kilos of amphetamine, 3,300 amphetamine tablets, and 1.3 kilos of cannabis resin, with a street value in excess of £140,000, and more than £30,000 cash.

“We will continue to investigate those suspected of choosing to deal in drugs which afflict our communities and will do all we can to bring them to justice and seize their criminal profits.”