Former St Albans City FC player jailed for 14 years for gun offence

PUBLISHED: 12:17 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 18 September 2019

All 28-years-old, Reiss and Ricky Gabriel, both of Church Street, and Ralston Gabriel of Galahad Road, were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on September 6. Left to right: Ralston, Reiss, Ricky. Picture: Met Police

All 28-years-old, Reiss and Ricky Gabriel, both of Church Street, and Ralston Gabriel of Galahad Road, were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on September 6. Left to right: Ralston, Reiss, Ricky. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A former St Albans City FC player has been jailed for 14 years after trying to give a gun to a dangerous criminal.

Met police officers found a pistol in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. 
Picture: Met PoliceMet police officers found a pistol in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. Picture: Met Police

Top goal scorer Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017.

They were caught after officers from the Met's Trident and Area Crime Command used intelligence to watch a house in Tottenham's Durban Road on April 10 that year.

They saw a mini cab drive up and a man get out, meet another man, load a large holdall and a rucksack into the car, get back in and drive off.

Stopping the vehicle, police found an Uzi sub-machine gun, a self-loading pistol, silencer, and ammunition in the bags.

Met police officers found ammunition in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. 
Picture: Met PoliceMet police officers found ammunition in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. Picture: Met Police

Gabriel's DNA was found on the pistol - but because he is one of three identical triplets it was initially hard to prove which brother was involved.

However, extensive inquires revealed all three Gabriel triplets had a part to play.

All 28-years-old, Reiss and Ricky Gabriel, both of Church Street, and Ralston Gabriel of Galahad Road, were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on September 6.

Ralson and Ricky were given 14 years and Reiss was handed 18 years.

Met police officers found a Uzi sub-machine gun in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. 
Picture: Met PoliceMet police officers found a Uzi sub-machine gun in the bags. Former St Albans City FC player Ralston Gabriel and his two identical siblings were found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm within intent to endanger life in 2017. Picture: Met Police

Reiss was also concurrently sentenced to six years, four years and three years six months for separate charges of firearm possession with intent to endanger life in relation to an incident on 26 July, 2018, and two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Temporary Det Ch Insp Driss Hayoukane, from the Met's Specialist Crime Command, said: "I am proud of the dedication my officers, notably Det Sgt Nick Harvey and Det Con Irfan Khalifa, showed in tracking down and linking the Gabriel triplets to this case.

"The trio tried to exploit their identical DNA and appearance to try and evade the consequences of their actions, but the hard work of the investigation team prevented their attempts.

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"Through their actions in this case, these men have thrown away promising careers and futures.

"As the judge stated at sentencing, these weapons were destined to be used by dangerous criminals."

Temporary Det Ch Insp Hayoukane stressed that an Aron Thomas, who was making a "concerted effort to acquire firearms", is a dangerous individual who intended to cause harm.

At the time of this offence, Thomas was on licence from an 11 year sentence for recklessly firing a weapon into a crowd of innocent people.

Ralston signed to St Albans City FC in summer 2018. He went on to score four goals against Chelmsford City in September, helping the team come back from 2-0 down to win 4-2. However, he left the team merely months later.

When contacted by the Herts Ad, a St Albans City FC spokeman said: "Ralston played for the club for a very short period of time and left the club to rejoin a previous club.

"We were shocked to hear of the news of his conviction a few weeks ago and as a club are doing our upmost to work tirelessly within the community to use sport, and football in particular, as a tool to enrich the community for the better."

The Gabriel triplets were the last three of eight people to be charged in relation to this case, which also involved police conducting a similar surveillance on April 27:

- Aron Thomas, 32, of Georges Road, was sentenced to life for two counts of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life on April 10 and April 27, 2017.

- Elyace Hamchaoui, 23, of Bowes Road, was sentenced to 14 years for conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life on April 10, 2017.

- Hamza Ahmed, 21, of Ashbrook Road, was sentenced to 16 years for conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life on April 10, 2017.

- Joshua Miller, 27, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 17 years for conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life April 27, 2017. This sentence will run consecutively to a sentence he is currently serving for possession with intent so supply Class A drugs.

- Aston Sterling, 31, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of criminal property.

In April 2019 he was acquitted of the firearms offences, but convicted of possession of criminal property.

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