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Man handed seven and a half years for drug and firearms offences

Custody image of James Ashton

A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to seven and a half years for multiple drug and firearms offences.

James Ashton, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday 13 October after pleading guilty to six offences.

Ashton faced two drugs charges including being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs (cocaine) and possession with intent to supply Class B drugs (cannabis).

He also faced two firearms charges being in possession of a section 5 firearm and possession of a shotgun without a certificate. The latter charge relates to a case led by Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Finally, Ashton faced counts of possessing criminal property and breaching bail conditions.

The charge of possessing a shotgun without a licence relates to an incident in Liverpool in 2018. Merseyside officers found a sawn-off shotgun in a vehicle as part of a joint operation between Gloucestershire Constabulary and Merseyside Police. Ashton was linked to the gun and taken into custody shortly after.

The remaining offences all relate to an incident which happened on 15 March 2020 in Churchill Road, Weston-super-Mare when Ashton, was the passenger in a vehicle officers stopped and searched.

Police found Ashton in possession of cannabis more than £1,000 in cash, along with a car key for a Mini which had been stolen from the Merseyside area.

Officers recovered the Mini and discovered a taser with Ashton’s fingerprints. They also discovered multiple text messages on phones recovered from the stop and search relating to drug dealing.

Officer in the case PC Charlie Gates said: “Crimes in drug and firearms can cause misery within communities and I am sure this significant sentence well be welcomed by the community.

“Avon and Somerset Police is committed to getting drugs off the streets and holding those to account who engage in this illegal activity.”