Birmingham man who made and supplied improvised firearms in Birmingham & London is jailed

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Kemarn Riley, of Ward End, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months

A man involved in the production and supply of improvised firearms in Birmingham and London has been sent to prison. 

Kemarn Riley, of Ward End, Birmingham was sentenced to 12 years and nine months for the manufacture of a weapon and ammunition at Birmingham Crown Court last Thursday (May 2). Riley also received five years each for two counts of possession of a firearm. His sentences will run concurrently.

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Police began an investigation into 24-year-old activities in January last year. Officers attended an address in Headingley Road, Handsworth, in connection with an earlier report of criminal damage. When searching the property they discovered a handgun – later identified as a converted blank firing pistol – hidden behind a shoulder bag in the rear garden. 

The shoulder bag contained two live shotgun shells, and another bag found in the garden contained two metal pipes, which officers suspected could be combined to make a simple, improvised weapon, commonly referred to as a ‘slam gun’.

A slam gun consists of a pipe that can contain a shotgun shell, which when another pipe is inserted, discharges through a sliding and slamming motion by the user. 

The weapons, ammunition and bags were seized from the property for analysis and, following testing, were forensically linked to Riley, who was living at the address at the time.

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In February, a further slam gun was recovered from a vehicle in Handsworth. Riley was not present when the weapon was seized but when analysed it was again traced back to him, leading us to believe that he was involved in supplying as well as making these devices. 

We arrested Riley at his new home address on Asquith Road, Ward End, on 28 February. Riley had moved there shortly after the discovery of the weapons and ammunition at his previous residence on Headingley Road in January. 

During a search of his room while making the arrest, police recovered a bag containing imitation firearms, shotgun cartridges and metal pipes, similar to the ones discovered earlier used to make slam guns. Other items including his phone were also seized. 

An examination of Riley’s phone uncovered messages, images and searches that suggested he was involved in the sale of firearms. When questioned in custody, Riley admitted to purchasing pipes for an associate but claimed to have no knowledge of their intended use. 

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In March 2023, officers from the Metropolitan Police got in touch about viable firearms they had seized in the capital around the same time the discoveries were made in Birmingham. These were likewise slam guns of a similar description and were also forensically linked to Riley.

Riley continued to offer no comment with regard to the sale of weapons but subsequently pleaded guilty to the possession charges relating to the weapons seized in Birmingham in January last year.


What has West Midlands said about the case?

Investigations Officer PC Owen Zambra from our Major Crime Unit said: “We built a strong case against Kemarn Riley and are pleased with this result. The message is clear that we won’t tolerate anyone profiting from the production and supply of illegal firearms. 

“These weapons can maim and kill, and they’re supplied to criminals who use them to intimidate and elicit fear in others. We’re working hard to take these weapons off our streets and put those involved in trading them like Riley behind bars.”