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Former Maidenhead United footballer jailed for gun crime

A former Maidenhead United footballer has been jailed for 14 years for firearms offences.

Ricky Gabriel, 28, who played full-back for the Magpies briefly last season on a short-term loan from Braintree Town, was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, concerning an incident on April 2017.

He was jailed along with his identical triplet brothers Ralston and Reiss, all aged 28.

Maidenhead United chairman Peter Griffin called the news ‘terrible’ and a ‘big surprise’, adding that the club did not know of Gabriel’s criminal activity while he played there.

He said: “He only joined us for a short time.

“It goes without saying that we didn’t know anything about it and the first we knew was when I read it in the press over the weekend.

“We were as in the dark about that as everyone else. It was a big surprise and it’s terrible.”

Gabriel made five appearances for the Magpies after joining in March 2019, starting three games and going on as a substitute on two further occasions.

The brothers, who all live at London addresses, were the final three of eight men charged in relation with the case.

On April 10, 2017, armed police searched a vehicle in London, finding two firearms – an Uzi submachine gun and a self-loading pistol – along with ammunition.

Forensic examination of the pistol revealed DNA that was linked to the three Gabriel brothers.

It was impossible to tell from the DNA which of the brothers was involved but, after extensive enquiries, police found evidence that all three brothers were linked to the conspiracy.

They were convicted on Tuesday, July 2 and sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane from the Met’s specialist crime command said: “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.

“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.

“This case should send a clear message to anyone considering possessing or attempting to obtain a firearm that we will identify you and bring you before the courts.”

A former Maidenhead United footballer has been jailed for 14 years for firearms offences.

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