Offender Kept Firearms At Cannabis Farm

17th June 2016

A man who kept a hoard of illegal firearms at his Rochdale cannabis farm has been jailed.

Christopher Bryson (30/10/1987) of Chatsworth Street, pleaded guilty to production of cannabis and possession of several firearms at Minshull Street Crown Court on 6 June 2016.

He was jailed for seven years and eight months on Thursday 16 June.

On 8 December 2015, a Warrant Officer for an energy company and a debt collector visited an address on Chatsworth Street, Rochdale.

Bryson had been a tenant at this property since 7 November 2014.

Having gained access to the address, the pair noticed a strong smell of cannabis and saw a single piece of ammunition on the floor.

They retreated from the house and called police, who attended and discovered a substantial cannabis farm and a significant collection of firearms and ammunition inside.

A thorough search of the property revealed a cannabis farm containing 85 plants with a yield of up to 10kg, and a collection of loaded and operational firearms, as well as ammunition for each.

Officers removed an 8mm pistol, a sawn-off shotgun, a 0.22 calibre camouflaged rifle, a 0.22 pump action rifle and an air pistol from the address, all of which were loaded, operational and ready to be fired.

Detective Constable Russell Clarke, GMP Rochdale Borough, said: "I have never before come across such a substantial and lethal arsenal of weaponry and ammunition in the possession of a single offender.

"Bryson had amassed a deadly collection and Rochdale is a safer place now these weapons have been discovered and seized by police.

"The immeasurable impact that guns can have on the community is reflected in the sentence imposed, sending a clear message to criminals that guns on our streets will not be tolerated.

"I urge members of the public to contact the police if they have any information regarding firearms in your communities, if needs be, confidentially via Crimestoppers."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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