A notorious ‘godfather’ who sold machines guns to criminals in Birmingham while at the heart of a gang which gunned down two innocent girls in a botched attack has been jailed for 16 years.
Nosakhere Stephenson, 41, masterminded an operation to sell antique firearms and specially-made bullets to criminals around the West Midlands city.
Police say the gun dealer, known as ‘Nosa’, believed he was ‘untouchable’ as he ran the operation alongside fellow gang members from inside the infamous Burger Bar Boys gang.
The gang – which for years fought a bloody and protracted feud with the rival Johnson Crew – trafficked weapons including a MAC 10 machine gun, a brutal weapon which was used in one of Birmingham’s most notorious murders.
Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis were innocent victims caught in the crossfire of the two warring gangs, whose turf war blighted the Aston area of Birmingham for over a decade and cost dozens of lives.
Their murders, which took place in 2003, propelled Birmingham’s gun crime problem into the national headlines and kick-started campaigns by residents who had grown tired of the daily acts of violence.
Eighteen men have now been convicted for a series of offences relating to the criminal firearms operation which Stephenson ran.
As he was jailed for 16 years, Detective Constable Phil Rodgers said the police operation – and subsequent haul of dozens of weapons and ammunition – had undoubtedly prevented more murders in the city.
Although Stephenson was never caught in possession of the guns, phone records linked him to each deal and every other person in the conspiracy – including his right-hand man, Sundish Nazran, who was jailed for 13 years.
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