Three men caught importing high-powered stun guns disguised as iPhones have been jailed for a total of 14 years.
The men were brought to justice in an investigation by officers from Leeds District’s drugs and firearms team Operation Quartz.
In April 2013, UK border officials intercepted a parcel sent from Thailand containing six electronic rechargeable stun guns which had the appearance of the Apple iPhone 4S model.
Enquiries led officers to Neil Cuthbertson’s address in Beeston Road, Beeston where he was arrested.
Further investigations identified Aiden Bedford whose mobile phone number was displayed on the package. He was arrested and a further electronic stun gun disguised as an Iphone was recovered.
Analysis of mobile phone calls led to the arrest of the third man David Clark.
Other phone analysis showed the men were all in contact with each other and people in Thailand at the time the package was sent.
All three were charged with conspiracy to import Section 5 firearms, which electronic stun guns are classed as.
Bedford pleaded guilty to the offence and Cuthbertson and Clark were found guilty after a trial.
Bedford, 26, of Winrose Hill, Belle Isle, was sentenced to five years in prison. Cuthbertson, 47, of Broom Grove, Belle Isle, and Clark, 31, of Heathcroft Vale, Beeston, were each jailed for four and a half years.
Det Insp Jaz Khan, of the Leeds Quartz team, said: “These weapons are classed as firearms under the law which illustrates the serious risks they present to people if they are used against them. They are made even more sinister by the fact they are deliberately disguised as a very common brand of phone that would allow them to go unnoticed until someone decided to use one.
“The criminal use of weapons such as these damages our communities.”