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Five charged with firearms offences in cross-border investigation

Five people have been charged with firearm offences in a bid to disrupt organised crime.

Two people from Preston and three from Manchester have been charged and appeared at Lancashire Magistrates Court this morning (July 17) before they were remanded into custody.

At 4pm on July 14 officers stopped a vehicle in the Queens Road area of Cheetham Hill, Manchester, and three people were arrested on suspicion of firearm offences.

Further enquiries led to four people being arrested in the Fishwick and Deepdale areas of Preston later the same day, also on suspicion of firearm offences.

Following consultation from the Crown Prosecution Service five people were last night charged with conspiring to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life/enable another to do so and conspiring to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life/enable another to do so.

They are Mark Watkins, 53, of Merrick Avenue, Preston; Richard Watkins, 27, of Merrick Avenue, Preston; Ryan Poole, 33, of Clough Road, Manchester; Lois Carter, 31, of Delaware Walk, Manchester; and John Lewis, 35, of Ridgewood Avenue, Manchester, who has also been charged with dangerous driving.

Two other people arrested in Preston on July 14 on suspicion of firearms offences have been released under investigation.

DI Fiona Jackson, said: “Lancashire Police remain committed to tackling organised crime and we will continue to work with cross-border forces to achieve this.

“I would like to thank the communities in both Manchester and Preston for their patience and support during this investigation. I would like to re-iterate this was an isolated incident, however reassurance patrols will continue in the areas impacted.”

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