Man remanded after firearms seized

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A gardener has been remanded in custody in connection with firearms offences after Scotland Yard claimed to have seized one of its biggest gun hauls.

Dean Stokes, 50, of Balmoral Road, Leyton, east London, appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court charged with one count of possession of a pump action rifle and one count of possession of ammunition without a certificate, contrary to the Firearms Act 1968.

The Metropolitan Police said 30 firearms including assault rifles, sawn-off shotguns, an Uzi and a Thompson machine gun were seized along with ammunition in east London on Wednesday morning.

The weapons were seized by the Waltham Forest Gangs Task Force following an intelligence operation, Scotland Yard said.

Stokes, who was charged on Thursday April 17, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address when he appeared before District Judge Mary Connolly during the short 10-minute hearing.

Forensic tests are still to be completed on a number of the weapons seized, the court heard.

Police said earlier that the size of the seizure was "exceptional".

In the past two years, shootings have reduced by 40% in London and the Metropolitan police and officers from Trident, the gang crime command, have seized more than 320 firearms since April last year.

Stokes will next appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London on May 1.

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