Alleged gun runner extradited to UK

An alleged gun runner has been extradited to the UK from Spain as part of a National Crime Agency investigation.

NCA officers took custody of Robert Brazendale, 33, yesterday (Thursday) and brought him back to the UK.

This morning (Friday) he appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court and was remanded to custody. He will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on 15th January 2021. No bail application was made at this time.

Brazendale, of Warrington, Cheshire, was arrested in Estepona on the Costa del Sol in October on a European Arrest Warrant.

He has been charged with a conspiracy with others to commit offences under section 16 Firearms Act 1968 of possessing firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

The NCA launched its investigation earlier this year as part of Operation Venetic – the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted global communications service EncroChat.

In April officers seized an AK47 assault rifle hidden in a commercial building in Warrington, Cheshire.

That month officers also seized an Uzi and Skorpion sub machine guns, 300 rounds of ammo, £180,000 cash and a kilogram of cocaine from a location in London.

In June, officers seized a second AK47 from an address in Manchester.

Neil Gardner, NCA operations manager, said:

“The extradition of Brazendale has once again shown excellent collaboration between the NCA and Spanish National Police.

“As part of this investigation, we have removed some of the most deadly firearms and ammunition that exist from the streets of the UK communities.

“We will continue to target offenders who bring firearms into our communities.”