Pair jailed after being caught in gun deal in Kent

Officers recovered a Glock 42 firearm with a number of rounds of live 9mm ammunition from the rucksack. Credit: National Crime Agency

Two men have been jailed for over 14 years after being caught in a gun handover in Kent.

In December 2019, officers from the NCA Armed Operations Unit watched Kristian Romanov, 24, as he met Kristyan Hristev, 30, at his house in Rochester.

Kristiyan Hristev (left) and Kristian Romanov (right) Credit: National Crime Agency

Romanov picked up a rucksack from Hristev and was arrested, along with his two passengers, after driving a short distance away from the property.

Officers found a Glock 42 firearm with a number of rounds of live ammunition in the rucksack. NCA officers, supported by Kent Armed Police units, surrounded Hristev’s house and he and his housemate were arrested as they emerged two hours later. When officers searched the rooftops of the surrounding properties, they found over 17g of cocaine and a further cache of bullets, identical to those recovered from Romanov, which had been thrown out the window as the house was surrounded.

On 27 May Hristev and Romanov, both Bulgarian nationals, pleaded guilty to the possession and supply of a firearm and ammunition at Maidstone Crown Court.

On Tuesday 1 September they were sentenced to nine years and five years and seven months in prison.

Eddie McGrann, from the NCA Armed Operations Unit, said: “The NCA continues in its fight to combat serious and organised crime, particularly crime that involves firearms that can have significant impact on our communities."