Dealers planned to ‘whack’ rival using hand grenades delivered to Wakefield

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Drug dealers who tried to buy hand grenades and have them delivered to an address in Wakefield planned to use them against a rival.

Jack Downend, 21, and Richard Jawadnass, 22, were arrested and charged with attempting to acquire an explosive substance with intent to endanger life as the result of an intelligence-led operation carried out by officers from the National Crime Agency in July 2022.

The pair, both from Barnsley, had attempted to source the US-made M67 fragmentation grenades online.

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Messages found on their phones by NCA investigators following their arrest showed them discussing buying various weapons to settle a drugs feud, before arranging for the grenades to be shipped to the address in Wakefield.

Jawadnass (left) and Downend were both jailed today. (pic by NCA)Jawadnass (left) and Downend were both jailed today. (pic by NCA)
Jawadnass (left) and Downend were both jailed today. (pic by NCA)

In one conversation Jawadnass said he wanted to “whack my man bad”, while Downend encouraged him not to rush, saying “move smart with it…needs to be done properly”.

Jawadnass pleaded guilty to the charge, but Downend was found guilty on May 2 following a six-day trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Today, a judge sentenced Downend to 13 years in jail, while Jawadnass got eight years and eight months.

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NCA branch operations manager Nigel Coles said: “There is no excuse for trying to obtain deadly weapons of this kind, and it is clear that Downend and Jawadnass were aware their actions were entirely illegal.

“The quick arrest of these men by officers ensured that vital evidence was secured and was able to form the basis of this successful prosecution and imprisonment of these dangerous individuals.”