A set of triplets have been jailed for a total of 46 years after DNA showed they had a gun and intended to pass it to a “dangerous” career criminal previously convicted of firing into a crowd of people.
The Gabriel brothers – Reiss, Ricky and Ralston – were charged after their identical DNA was found on a handgun seized by police, along with an Uzi sub machine gun, in April 2017.
The brothers, 28 and from the Edmonton area of north London, were the last of eight people to be sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court in connection with the case.
Police on a stake-out in Tottenham, north London, spotted two men putting a bag in a minicab in April 2017.
Officers stopped the car and found Hamza Ahmed with the handgun and the Uzi along with bullets and a silencer.
When interviewed, Ahmed told police he believed he was involved in a drug deal, and denied any knowledge of the firearms, but was charged on other evidence.
Cops again kept watch a few days later in Stroud Green, north London, when they saw Aron Thomas, 32, of Lower Holloway, north London, enter a property and leave minutes later in a vehicle driven by Joshua Miller, 27, of no fixed address.
Armed officers intercepted the vehicle carrying Thomas. He was found to be in possession of a bag which contained a loaded revolver and multiple rounds of ammunition modified to fit the discontinued gun.
Thomas was on licence at the time after serving 11 years in 2010 for firing eight rounds into a crowd of people outside Wood Green tube station – hitting one man in the leg.
After Ahmed was arrested on April 10 2017, officers discovered another man, Elyace Hamchaoui, of Arnos Grove in north London, who had been working as a go-between for Ahmed and Thomas.
Officers later arrested and charged both Thomas and Hamchaoui as part of the conspiracy.
Thomas, Miller, Ahmed, of Holloway, north London, and Hamchaoui stood trial for five weeks in May 2018 and were convicted of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.
After their conviction forensics officers looked again at the pistol recovered from the bust on April 10 2017.
This revealed DNA which was linked to the Gabriel brothers. The DNA could not finger one individual triplet so officers kept digging – eventually finding out all three were involved.
Reiss was jailed for 18 years, while his two brothers were each jailed for 14 years.
Reiss Gabriel was also sentenced for a separate charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life for a 2018 offence, and two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
He admitted the offences and was jailed for six years, four years and three years and six months respectively to run concurrently to the sentence for the main conspiracy.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Aron Thomas is a dangerous individual who made a concerted effort to acquire firearms, intending to cause harm to others.
“At the time of committing this offence, Thomas was on licence having been released from an 11 year sentence for recklessly firing a weapon into a crowd of innocent people.
“He clearly has no regard for the safety of any member of the public, and no respect for the criminal justice system. I am pleased the sentence he received in this case demonstrates the seriousness of his offending.
“This lengthy investigation which has spanned many years showcases the police’s commitment to bringing those who involved in offending to justice.
“The success of this case would also not have been possible without the hard work of the Crown Prosecution Service’s prosecution team, led by Kerry Broome.
“I am proud of the dedication my officers, notably DS Nick Harvey and DC Irfan Khalifa, showed in tracking down and linking the Gabriel triplets to this case.
“The trio tried to exploit their identical DNA and appearance to try and evade the consequences of their actions, but the hard work of the investigation team prevented their attempts.
“Through their actions in this case, these men have thrown away promising careers and futures.”
DCI Hayoukane added: “As the judge stated at sentencing, these weapons were destined to be used by dangerous criminals.
“This case should send a clear message to anyone considering possessing or attempting to obtain a firearm that we will identify you and bring you before the courts.”