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Antrim drug smuggler jailed for trying to post gun to Northern Ireland from the US

Kristopher Scott enlisted an American man to send a parcel containing the weapon, bullets and computer parts to a pal’s address in 2020

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

An Antrim drug smuggler has been jailed after he tried to post a pistol and 52 rounds of ammunition to Ballymoney from the US.

Kristopher Scott (39) enlisted an American man to send a parcel containing the weapon, bullets and computer parts to a pal’s address in north Antrim in 2020.

He was arrested alongside his neighbour Bryan Hanna (31), who was due to receive the package.

Border force officers at an international parcel depot near Stansted Airport intercepted the parcel bound to Hanna’s Antrim address.

Hanna, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was described by judge this week as a “vulnerable” man who had been “preyed upon” by Scott.

His 18-month prison sentence was suspended this week while Scott was jailed for five years and four months in February.

Reporting restrictions mean Scott’s sentence could not be reported until now.

He was charged with attempting to import a firearm, two charges relating to the attempted possession of a firearm and two counts of possessing class C drugs – a quantity of etizolam was found in his car.

He has already served five years in prison for smuggling class B drugs.

The shipper of the weapon, Lyle Justin Schirm from Oregon, has plead guilty to sending the semi-automatic Sig Sauer weapon and is awaiting sentence.

"Kristopher Scott attempted to import a deadly firearm into Northern Ireland and thought that by using the postal system he would escape the attention of law enforcement,” said NCA Belfast Branch Commander David Cunningham.

"Bryan Hanna was complicit when he said his address could be used, and making sure Scott was alerted to its arrival.

“Through our joint working with partners in both the UK and US we were able to stop him from doing so, and ensure that both ends of this criminal conspiracy face justice.”

Taylor Wilson, the Border Force Assistant Director at Stansted Airport, added: “This was a concerted attempt to smuggle firearms into our country, demonstrating the lengths criminals will go to put profit before people’s lives.

"If this weapon entered our community it could have caused serious injury or death.

“We will continue to break any attempt to import deadly weapons into the UK and dismantle deadly supply chains.”


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