A serving soldier has been jailed for 15 months and will be discharged from the Army with immediate effect after being found guilty of passing on military-issue bullets.
Ralstan Pusey, 31 of Norfolk, NR20, was found guilty to possession of prohibited ammunition (contrary to the Firearms Act 1968) following a trial at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, 4 March. He was sentenced at the same court on Thursday, 9 July.
On 9 November 2016, officers stopped a vehicle in Luton and recovered a loaded handgun and 97 rounds of 9mm Parabellum ammunition.
The driver of the car was arrested and convicted of possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in June 2017.
Further enquiries were made into the source of the ammunition, with officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime South team leading the investigation.
The bullets were found in two containers, one an iPhone box – these were found within a bag in the vehicle.
Officers made enquiries about the IMEI number on the iPhone box and found it was linked to Pusey, a Lance Corporal with 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards – a cavalry regiment of the British Army.
The ammunition and the boxes were forensically tested, and his fingerprints were found on the containers.
Pusey was arrested in April 2017 and denied handling, stealing, passing on or having any knowledge of the bullets.
Detectives were able to ascertain that the rounds of ammunition recovered came from a batch which was manufactured in July 2010 for the British Military.
The court heard that it was believed Pusey obtained the ammunition while stationed in Germany, having taken part in firing range exercises.
Pusey was subsequently charged in July 2019.
Detective Constable Leon Ure, said: “This was an unusual case which opened up as the result of meticulous forensic work. Officers were able to narrow down the source of the bullets to the British Army, and a jury was convinced that it was Pusey who had passed the bullets on.
“Possessing ammunition is a very serious offence – criminals intent on using firearms to commit violence on London’s streets provide a black market for ammunition, to be used in shootings linked to gang violence and organised crime.”
Pusey was found not guilty of theft.