Police have welcomed the sentence of a 20-year-old drug dealer who was caught with a firearm inside a sock. 

Marlon Barnes, 20, of Ramsbury Avenue, Penhill, was sentenced on Thursday to six years and six months imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm, ammunition, and criminal property and for being concerned in the supply of Class A Drugs. 

Wiltshire Police have revealed details of its investigation into the young man, and have welcomed the custodial sentence given to him. 

Following an extensive investigation by investigating officer PC White of the Serious Youth Gang Violence unit, Barnes was found to be the controller of the ‘Caesar’ local drugs line which had plagued the streets of Swindon with Class A drugs between December last year and March this year.

During this time, the drug line is thought to have made around £75,000.

Officers from the Serious Youth Gang Violence unit executed a warrant at Barnes’ home address on March 7 after an investigation spanning many months.

Key mobile phones were found linking the ‘Caesar’ drugs line to Barnes, as well as approximately 250 wraps of Class A drugs, £2,500 in cash, a revolver firearm which had been modified to fire live ammunition and homemade ammunition.

Barnes was charged with various offences, to which he subsequently pleaded guilty.

PC White said: “Drug dealing has a huge impact on our communities here in Swindon.

“Often those involved will target those who are most vulnerable in our communities and will exploit them to get a grip of the local area to supply drugs.

“The actions of Barnes are barbaric and destroy families and communities.
“We won’t tolerate drug dealers in Swindon and will do everything within our power to ensure that they are dealt with robustly.”

Detective Inspector Champion of the Serious Youth Gang Violence Unit said: “Drug dealing is serious and organised criminality which strikes at the heart of communities across the country.

"It results in vulnerable adults and children being exploited in order for drugs to be sold and it is an ongoing issue which Wiltshire Police are committed to tackling through operations such as this one.

“PC White and other members of the Serious Youth Gang Violence Unit have conducted a meticulous investigation over many months in order to identify Barnes as being responsible for this reprehensible criminality and through their action they have removed a dangerous individual, and a viable firearm from our streets.”