Jail for man who made and supplied improvised weapons in Birmingham and beyond

Kemarn Riley
Kemarn Riley Credit: West Midlands Police

A man from Birmingham has been jailed for making and supplying improvised firearms in the city and in London.

Kemarn Riley who's 24 and from Ward End, was sentenced to twelve years and nine months for the manufacture of a weapon and ammunition, at Birmingham Crown Court on the 2nd May.

Riley also received five years each for two counts of possession of a firearm - his sentences will run concurrently.

Police began investigating him in January 2023. Officers attended an address in Headingley Road in Handsworth, in connection with an earlier report of criminal damage.

They found a handgun, later identified as a converted blank firing pistol, hidden behind a shoulder bag in the back garden.

The bag contained two live shotgun shells. Another bag had two metal pipes, which officers suspected could make an improvised weapon commonly referred to as a "slam gun’".

An improvised slam gun Credit: West Midlands Police

The weapons, ammunition and bags were seized from the property for analysis and were forensically linked to Riley, following testing.

In February, another slam gun was found in a vehicle in Handsworth. After analysis, it was again traced back to Riley.

He was arrested at his new home address on Asquith Road in Ward End on the 28th February. He'd moved there shortly after weapons and ammunition were found at his previous residence on Headingley Road.

At his new home police found a bag with imitation firearms, shotgun cartridges and metal pipes, similar to the ones discovered earlier used to make slam guns.

An examination of Riley’s seized phone uncovered messages, images and searches that suggested he was involved in the sale of firearms.

During custody questioning, Riley admitted to buying pipes for an associate but claimed to have no knowledge of their intended use.

"These weapons can maim and kill"

In March 2023, Metropolitan Police officers got in touch with West Midlands Police about firearms they had seized in London, around the same time the discoveries were made in Birmingham.

The slam guns were of a similar description and were also forensically linked to Riley.

He continued to offer no comment around the sale of weapons, and pleaded guilty to the possession charges relating to the weapons seized in Birmingham in January 2023.

PC Owen Zambra, Investigations Officer from the West Midlands Police Major Crime Unit said:

“We built a strong case against Kemarn Riley and are pleased with this result. The message is clear that we won’t tolerate anyone profiting from the production and supply of illegal firearms.

“These weapons can maim and kill, and they’re supplied to criminals who use them to intimidate and elicit fear in others.

"We’re working hard to take these weapons off our streets and put those involved in trading them like Riley behind bars.”

Police say Riley’s conviction and sentencing forms part of Operation Target, their ongoing fight against serious and organised crime in the West Midlands, tackling guns, drugs, money laundering and the exploitation of children.