Four men arrested in Preston and charged with firearm offences

Two Preston men are among five suspects charged with firearm offences after a police investigation into alleged organised crime.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 1:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th July 2021, 1:30 pm

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.

A police investigation led to another 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.

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Mark Watkins, 53, and Richard Watkins, 27, both of Merrick Avenue, Preston, have been charged with firearms offences and remanded into custody. Pic: Google

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.

• John Lewis, 35, of Ridgewood Avenue, Manchester, who has also been charged with dangerous driving.

They have all appeared before Lancashire Magistrates Court this morning (July 17) and were remanded into custody.

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

DI Fiona Jackson, of Lancashire Police, 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 reiterate this was an isolated incident, however reassurance patrols will continue in the areas impacted."

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