Two Coldstream Guards serving in a regiment responsible for protecting the Queen were caught in a police sting ‘plotting to sell hundreds of rounds of army ammunition to a member of the criminal underworld’, a court has heard.
Coldstream Guards Kirtland Gill, 41, and Rajon Graham, 33, had access to the bullets, issued for firing practice, through their roles in the British Army, a jury was told.
Technical Quartermaster Sergeant Kirtland Gill, 41, was responsible for supplies for the regiment – recognisable for their red jackets and black bearskin hats – at the Victoria Barracks, near Windsor Castle.
Graham is not standing trial, having previously pleaded guilty to four counts of selling ammunition between December 7, 2020 and January 28, 2021.
Lance Sergeant Rajon Graham, 33, met a man he believed to be involved in criminal activity, including drugs, who wanted to buy guns and ammunition for cash.
Graham sold a total of 300 9mm bullets, which he called “sweets”, wrapped in Bacofoil bags, for £5,800 in cash during four meetings with the buyer, who was actually an undercover police officer, referred to as “D”.
The soldiers, from Windsor, Berkshire, were arrested on January 28 last year.
Gill was the first black Regimental Sergeant Major in the Household Division, which guards Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
He is on trial at Southwark Crown Court, where he denies conspiracy to sell or transfer ammunition between December 2, 2020 and January 30, 2021 and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson told jurors: “The Coldstream Guards have a particular responsibility for the protection of Her Majesty the Queen, but they are also an integral part of the British Army more generally.
“In that regard, they of course have a need for large quantities of ammunition both for combat and for training for combat.”
Mr Atkinson said Gill, who joined the Army in 2001, was responsible for the allocation and management of ammunition issued to the regiment for firing practice.
Gill, who grew up in Jamaica, was in regular telephone and WhatsApp contact with Graham, who met with “D”, telling the undercover officer he was acting with a friend who had access to the rounds, said the prosecutor.
Ahead of one deal, Graham told “D” his friend was being interviewed by the Sun newspaper and the court heard an article was published featuring Gill as the first black man to attain the rank of Warrant Officer.
Bacofoil bags, along with a Turkish self-loading pistol Gill was not licensed to have, were found at his home, as well as cash, including notes handed to Graham by “D” for 100 rounds of ammunition.
WhatsApp messages, mobile phone location data and police surveillance also linked Gill to the plot, the jury was told.
“Between the beginning of December 2020 and the end of January 2021, this defendant was part of a plan, with others, to sell ammunition to which they had access through their roles in the Army,” said Mr Atkinson.
“It is an offence to sell a firearm or ammunition unless you are licensed to do so, and thus comply with the rigorous legal requirements for that sensitive trade.
“Graham was not so licensed, and thus his supplies of ammunition were unlawful.
“He is not now in the dock because he has admitted that he did make this series of unauthorised and unlawful supplies of live and therefore deadly ammunition to undercover officer ‘D’.
“From his communications and other evidence, it is clear that Graham had involved others than this defendant, Gill, in the process of supplying ammunition.”
Judge David Tomlinson said potential jurors who had served in the Army would be excluded from service and those selected were shown a picture of the undercover officer, who will give evidence from behind a screen.
Gill, who arrived at court wearing a dark pinstriped suit, white shirt and green tie, is on bail and the trial continues.