Exposed: The Army’s Gun-Smuggling Soldiers

Paul Peachey, The Independent, January 21, 2013

A group of British Army soldiers based in Germany have been convicted of attempting to smuggle guns and cocaine from continental Europe to sell to the London underworld.

A former member of an elite cavalry regiment masterminded the “well-planned” operation with the help of three Army colleagues on bases in Germany and criminal contacts in three countries.

Detectives said they would continue to investigate the extent of a gun-running racket involving members of the British military after a breakthrough in the analysis of supposed “secure” phones favoured by gangsters revealed the possible involvement of other soldiers.

The four serving or former soldiers were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court along with a criminal contact in London. Lemar Loveless was arrested six days after he quit the Queen’s Royal Hussars as he and a regimental colleague drove two BMWs to Britain from Europe with five guns and cocaine with a street value of more than £70,000. Silencers and dozens of rounds of ammunition were also discovered.

Officers seized their phones and recovered the messages from the BlackBerry messaging system that helped them piece together links between the soldiers, an Italian seller based in Germany and their potential London buyer, the court heard. The messages showed that Loveless, 26, and a former Army colleague Trave Dyce, 22, travelled to Amsterdam via Germany to collect guns and cocaine, which was hidden inside a ball of tape, impregnated with curry powder to put sniffer dogs off the scent.

Analysis showed that the guns were intended for delivery to Romone Marshalleck, 24, in Tooting, south London, to pass on to criminal networks. When police raided his home, they found pictures on his iPad showing him posing with a semi-automatic pistol and another picture of a gun and magazine with bullets spelling out the message: “F*** Love”.

Two serving soldiers, Lance Laurent, 26, of the Queen’s Royal Hussars and Duran Wright, 28, of the Royal Logistic Corps, were arrested and questioned at a German military base after messages showed their involvement in the operation. None of the guns seized—two German Walther PPKs and three Italian converted pistols—were Army issue, but obtained through an Italian contact based in Germany, the court was told.

Detective Inspector Chris Jones, of Trident Gang Crime Command, said the operation “led to the removal of five lethal firearms and ammunition, weapons which would inevitably have been used to commit acts of serious violence on the streets of London.”

The deleted BlackBerry messages only came to light at the end of last year following a technological breakthrough. While police believed they have caught the main players involved in the racket, two more soldiers could be questioned over their links with the five men. The four soldiers were convicted yesterday of conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs. Marshalleck, the only civilian, was convicted of the firearms charge. They will be sentenced on Friday. The convictions followed the jailing last year of another former soldier, Ricardo McKenzie, who smuggled a cache of guns and ammunition from Iraq into the UK in a tank.

Perps

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • David Ashton

    The official response usually says “Lessons will be learned”. Not the obvious one, you can be sure of it.

    • Puggg

      Yes, they’ll have to do a month of hard…er, soft time in prison. That’ll teach ’em.

      • David Ashton

        “Our political class set criminals free and cover up the consequences” – Theodore Dalrymple, The Spectator (London), January 26 – see his statistical proof.

  • Triarius

    Those things do not look British to me, more Nigerian. Anyways, hang them. And yes I would say that if they were white.

    • The__Bobster

      Yes, the old sleight of hand by the libtarded media, trying to make us think the perps were White.

      • Triarius

        Yep, every colored person can move to a white country and be “British”, “Swedish”, or “French”. But god forbid they call a white citizen of Hong Kong “Chinese” when he commits a crime.

        • jay11

          This is one thing that irks me to NO end. I cannot change my race or ethnic group. It is impossible. Even on the slim chance a white dude like me could ever gain chinese citizenship, no one in the world would take me as a chinese man. But any non-white person can ‘become’ a white racial/ethnic group, simply by virtue of stepping off a plane and getting a piece of paper. The european ethnic groups were formed over thousands of years. You can’t become an austrian or a pole or an irishman if you were never born one and especially if you are not even anywhere near the bloodline.
          All the time now I see blacks in europe described as a ‘swede’ or a ‘scot’ or whatever. In the States over here it’s bad enough that liberals are telling illegal immigrants from latin america that they are ‘americans too!’ and have a right to claim this country as their own.

    • MarcusTrajanus

      Yes, good thing they clarified the gentlemen are British, else we might have thought they were Swedes.

  • StillModerated

    How’s that integrated army working out for you Limeys? But meanwhile, we Yanks have you beat by a mile. We’re going to put women on the front line infantry along with the limp-wrist corps.

    • Well, maybe they will be bulldykes they put in the front line. Watching a troop of 300 pound bulldykes charging toward you with bayonts fixed would scare the wee-wee out of even the most committed jihadist.

  • Jss

    I really am curious what color the “Italian”contact is.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      The numerically safest bet is probably a Somali, as Somalia was an Italian colony. By “converted Italian pistols”, BTW, the article means starter’s pistols that have been altered to accept live .22″ rimfire ammunition. These are pretty common in the European underworld. Given that most of these pistols – except for the German models – are made from cast pot metal, I would be very reluctant to fire one even with starter’s blanks.

      • Tim

        There was a case at the next high school over where a coach shot a trackster across the football field by accident. He was using his .22 as a starters pistol. I never figured out why he didn`t aim it up instead of over. When the news coverage died down, every school in the district got three brand new starters pistols.

    • Alex

      Probably a Sub-saharan or a North African.

    • Kyla

      What does race have to do with it

  • Alex

    Those are some stellar looking soldiers. I’d be happy to call any one of them my battle buddy any day of the week……..If I was also an ignorant black soldier.

    When I was in Afghanistan I knew that there were some British soldiers who got busted trying to smuggle a lot of hashish back to the U.K. on their redeployment flight out of Kandahar. I’m guessing since it was pretty obvious and they didn’t do it smartly they were probably non-native British soldiers, like these.

    Buffoons… posing with their guns and incriminating themselves all the more.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      A criminal who uses wireless communications is a thoroughly stupid one. Most police agencies need a warrant to tap a land line, but when something goes out as radio-frequency traffic – like between mobile devices, it’s instantly evidence. Police departments have time, equipment budgets and more importantly, institutional memory going for them.

  • IstvanIN

    They don’t look like they would be willing to lay down their lives for God, Queen and country. More likely to overthrow it.

  • NYB

    The other soldier jailed last year for smuggling weapons, Ricardo “MacKenzie”, is also African.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2190930/Soldier-smuggled-cache-guns-Iraq-Britain-tank-claims-took-collectors-item.html

  • KenelmDigby

    When you read the words ‘Queen’s Royal Hussars’ a particular image is conjured in the mind.
    One thinks of a heavy moustachieod Victorian era cavalry soldier with distinctive helmet, flash uniform, the quintessence of old England in fact, the men who fought at Waterloo, Crimea, India etc, the whole upper class English public school thing stiff upper lip, chivalry, the whole thing.
    Needless to say looking at those photos one is disconcerted to say the least.

  • bigone4u

    Cocaine and guns–two out of three of a black thugs favorite things. The only one missing is white women thugettes helping them or worshipping their noble blackness.

  • TheAntidote

    “Romone” “Duran” “Ricardo” “Trave”. C’mon, Was anyone surprised at the final images of these Britons?

    • Michael_C_Scott

      I have to admit I stopped wondering at the first given name I ran across: “Lemar”.

  • N*i66ers are the same all over the world it seems.

  • Bill

    Yeah, I’d recruit THEM for any army in a heartbeat, wouldn’t YOU? England is lost if this is what they are recruiting now. But why pick on England. We allow far worse into our military.

    • Alex

      Very true, it seems though that the most ghetto ones try to get into the Air Force and Navy though. I was shocked at some of the ghetto trash that I saw who were in those branches, but I figured it was because those aren’t branches that are thought of as being strictly disciplinarian (No disrespect to any Navy or Air Force vets on this forum).

      There are a decent amount of ghetto ones in the Army, but usually confined to supply, cooks, S1/G1 admin. etc. A black in the combat arms is a guy whose recruiter tricked him somehow generally, or he got a big bonus and likely had no idea what he was getting into. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I noticed very few in the Marines. They seemed to be a better class of blacks generally.

  • MarcusTrajanus

    And they would have gotten away with it if police forces in Britain weren’t still severely lacking “top officers from ethnic minorities”.

  • David Ashton

    What do you expect of a country whose government reduces its troop numbers while taking on more infantry commitments in foreign adventures and has aircraft carriers without aircraft, and which is shortly planning a major change of policy to appeal directly to colored immigrants instead of the hitherto majority “White British”, and which was not long ago described in the USA as the “terrorist center” of the world?

  • David Ashton

    More “News from the Motherland” — British police “are fighting 7,500 organized crime gangs, an eightfold increase the past decade…. Mass immigration and the explosion in cyber crime are among the driving forces…. ‘International crime is big business. Gun smuggling, money laundering and people trafficking all operate across borders.’…. Organized crime costs the country about £40 billion a year” (Daily Telegraph, January 26, p.14).

  • rebelcelt

    Seems these Brits have been in the sun a little too long.

  • Kyla

    People make mistakes .. My cousin is not a criminal he made a mistake and all your ignorant slurs mean nothing … Lance is the sweetest person he just made a really bad choice and he will serve time to pay for it