Two soldiers sold ammunition to plainclothes policeman, court hears
Two soldiers serving in a regiment tasked with protecting the Queen sold hundreds of cartridges of live and ‘deadly’ ammunition to an undercover policeman posing as a criminal, a court has heard.
Coldstream Guards Kirtland Gill, 41, and Rajon Graham, 33, had access to the bullets, issued for marksmanship practice, through their roles in the British Army, a jury heard.
Technical Quartermaster Sergeant Kirtland Gill, 41, was in charge of supplying the regiment – recognizable by his red jackets and black bearskin hats – at Victoria Barracks near Windsor Castle.
Graham is not on trial, having already pleaded guilty to four counts of selling ammunition between December 7, 2020 and January 28, 2021.
Lance Sergeant Rajon Graham, 33, met a man he believed to be involved in criminal activity, including drugs, who wanted to buy guns and ammunition for cash.
Graham sold a total of 300 9mm bullets, which he called ‘candy’, packed in Bacofoil bags, for £5,800 cash in four meetings with the buyer, who was actually an undercover police officer , called “D”.
The soldiers, from Windsor, Berkshire, were arrested on January 28 last year.
Gill was the first black regimental sergeant major of the Household Division, which guards Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
He is on trial at Southwark Crown Court, where he denies conspiring to sell or transfer ammunition between December 2, 2020 and January 30, 2021 and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson told jurors: ‘The Coldstream Guards have a special responsibility to protect Her Majesty The Queen, but they are also an integral part of the British military more generally.
“In this regard, of course, they need large amounts of ammunition both for combat and for combat training.”
Mr Atkinson said Gill, who joined the army in 2001, was responsible for allocating and managing ammunition issued to the regiment for gunnery training.
Gill, who grew up in Jamaica, was in regular contact by phone and WhatsApp with Graham, who met ‘D’, telling the undercover officer he was acting with a friend who had access to the rounds, said the prosecutor.
Prior to a settlement, Graham told “D” his friend was being interviewed by the Sun newspaper and the court heard an article had been published featuring Gill as the first black man to achieve the rank of warrant officer.
Bags of bacofoil, along with a Turkish self-loading pistol that Gill was not allowed to possess, were found in his home, along with cash, including notes given to Graham by “D” for 100 rounds of ammunition.
WhatsApp messages, cellphone location data and police surveillance also linked Gill to the conspiracy, the jury heard.
“Between early December 2020 and late January 2021, this defendant was part of a plan, along with others, to sell ammunition they had access to through their roles in the military,” Mr Atkinson said.
“It is an offense to sell a firearm or ammunition unless authorized to do so, and therefore to comply with the rigorous legal requirements for this sensitive trade.
“Graham was not so licensed, and therefore his ammunition supplies were illegal.
“He is not currently in the dock because he admitted to carrying out this series of unauthorized and illegal supplies of live and therefore deadly ammunition to Undercover Agent ‘D’.
“From his communications and other evidence, it is clear that Graham had implicated people other than this defendant, Gill, in the process of supplying ammunition.”
Judge David Tomlinson said potential jurors who had served in the military would be barred from service and those selected would be shown a photo of the undercover officer, who will testify behind a screen.
Gill, who arrived in court wearing a dark pinstripe suit, white shirt and green tie, is out on bail and the trial continues.