Published: 13:22, 21 August 2018
| Updated: 08:34, 22 August 2018
Three people have been locked up after a shotgun was discovered in a bag of cuddly toys.
Billy Stokes, Terri Pemberton and Samantha Fearne never said why they were in possession of a shotgun and cartridges after being arrested on October 24, 2016.
The crime came to light when Stokes picked up Fearne and Pemberton in his transit van at about 1.15pm that day.
Scroll down for surveillance footage
Unbeknown to them, they were being watched by officers from the he National Crime Agency and Met’s Organised Crime Partnership.
Stokes, 28, drove to Chalk Road in Higham where the two women were seen by officers going into a house.
Fifteen minutes later they emerged and Fearne, 22, was carrying a large clear sack containing cuddly toys and a child’s duvet which Stokes then put in the back of the van.
Stokes then drove the friends to Higham train station where he dropped them off.
Shortly after, an armed response unit from Kent Police stopped him in nearby Cobham.
Officers searched the vehicle and found a shotgun with a shortened stock and two rounds of ammunition in the sack.
Stokes was arrested for being in possession of a shotgun without a certificate.
Pemberton, 24, and Fearne were arrested at their home addresses for the supply of a shotgun without a certificate.
Stokes, of Valley Lane, Meopham, and Terri Pemberton, of Windmill Street, Gravesend, were jailed for two years and 18 months respectively.
Samantha Fearne, of Milton Road, Gravesend, who has been Pemberton’s friend since her school days, was sentenced to 80 hours community service.
They all pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday.
The OCP's Matt McMillan said: “All three have never said exactly why they were in possession of a shotgun and cartridges, but it would have been for criminal purposes.
“Anyone carrying a gun or preparing one for criminal use poses a serious threat to the public.
“The NCA and Met officers of the Organised Crime Partnership are determined to find those involved with criminality and bring them before the courts.”
Surveillance footage of the trio