A MAN in debt to drug dealers was jailed for more than five years after he tried to import a gun and bullets from the US.

Lewis Griffiths was arrested by armed police in Caerphilly after the FBI tipped off the National Crime Agency in London about the sale of the pistol.

The defendant had searched the dark web and used cryptocurrency Bitcoin to buy the Glock 19 and 50 rounds of ammunition for £850.

Firearms officers pounced just after the package was delivered to an empty building in Senghenydd where he was wating for it to arrive.

It was capable of killing two or more people in rapid succession

Newport Crown Court heard how cocaine and cannabis user Griffiths had a “fascination with gangsters” and owed money to drug dealers.

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Judge Richard Williams told the 28-year-old: “You went to considerable lengths to source and import a prohibited firearm.

“It was capable of killing two or more people in rapid succession.”

He added: “It was intended to be used for a criminal purpose.”

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Police analysis of Griffiths’ phone revealed he had recently watched a documentary series called British Gangsters: Faces of the Underworld.

The programme focuses on the UK's most notorious villains.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate and possession of cannabis on August 11.

Griffiths admitted the firearms offences on the basis he had imported the gun and bullets “with the sole purpose of using it to take his own life”.

This was rejected by the judge following a trial of issue.

Tim Probert-Wood, prosecuting, said the defendant had performed online searches around the time for infamous criminals like Charles Bronson and Mickey Green and his ‘Wembley Mob’ of armed robbers from the 1970s.

Griffiths, of Hillside Avenue, Abertridwr, Caerphilly, claimed he bought the gun and bullets because he wanted to take his own life.

The defendant said he was feeling suicidal following the death of family members and after his mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

He admitted he used cocaine and cannabis and was in debt to drug dealers.

Emma Harris, representing the defendant, asked the court to give her client credit for his guilty pleas.

She added how Griffiths had received help for his mental health issues in prison while being held on remand following his arrest.

Judge Williams jailed him for five years and five months and banned him from possessing a firearm for life.