Drug dealers who had loaded gun in their car jailed for 38 years

Left to right: Kelly Bond and Darren James.

Left to right: Kelly Bond and Darren James. - Credit: Norfolk police

Two men have been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison after being found guilty of drugs offences and possession of a loaded gun. 

Darren James, 48, formerly of Norwich Street, Dereham, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, while Kelly Bond, 53, formerly of Lopham Road, Kenninghall, was jailed for 16 years.

The two men were arrested in Dereham during the early hours of May 12, 2020, after a search of their vehicle found an amount of cocaine as well as a loaded handgun and ammunition. 

Searches were subsequently carried out at an address in Kenninghall and two packages of cocaine were seized.

Kelly Bond, 53, formerly of Lopham Road in Kenninghall, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Kelly Bond, 53, formerly of Lopham Road in Kenninghall, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. - Credit: Norfolk police

Further enquiries showed the two men had travelled around the country and coordinated the purchase, supply and distribution of significant quantities of class A and class B drugs.

The men were charged with firearms offences and possession with intent to supply in May 2020 and were convicted at Norwich Crown Court on February, 28, before being sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, March 3.

Det Sgt Eddie Hammond, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “We are pleased with the significant sentences handed to Mr Bond and Mr James, who used encrypted devices to arrange the wholesale purchase and distribution of significant quantities of controlled drugs. Both were stopped in a vehicle which contained a loaded firearm.

Darren James, 48, formerly of Norwich Street in Dereham, was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Darren James, 48, formerly of Norwich Street in Dereham, was sentenced to 22 years in prison. - Credit: Norfolk police

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"Darren James and Kelly Bond have previous convictions for firearms offences and refused to answer any questions put to them whilst in police custody. Only they know what their intention was by having that firearm in their possession.

"The sentences handed down by the court reflect the seriousness of their offending. The hard work and tenacity of the investigation team in this case is indicative of our commitment to bringing those involved in organised crime to justice which in turn makes Norfolk and Suffolk safer places to live.”