Justice - and 14 year sentence - catches up with gun smuggler who asked Royal family to forgive him
PUBLISHED: 15:35 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:06 10 October 2019
A Wisbech man who went on the run after being charged with gun and drug crimes has been jailed for more than 14 years - five years after being bailed and fleeing to Spain.
Marius Supelis of Ollard Avenue was bailed to attend court in May 2015 but fled the country on a ferry with his partner and young daughter two days before he was due before a court.
A European arrest warrant was issued in February 2016. Supelis was arrested more than two years later, on April 9, 2018, in Valencia, Spain, by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
He was flown back to the UK 11 days later and remanded in custody.
When interviewed about fleeing the UK, Supelis claimed he left the country because his mother was ill. He told police he was "going through hell" and asked the Royal Family to forgive him. He also claimed he knew he would have to 'face the music sometime'.
Supelis stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court from August 5 charged with fraudulent evasion of a prohibition and was found guilty of the offence four days later.
He had previously pleaded guilty to failing to surrender, possessing a disguised firearm, two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate, and four counts of possessing a class B drug with intent.
He was sentenced at the same court on Wednesday October 9 where he was handed a total of 14 years and four months in prison.
The court had previously heard how guns and ammunition hidden inside a TV and a music speaker and seized at the French border were on their way to Wisbech.
A Mercedes Sprinter van was stopped by French border officials on 20 June 2014. Items from the vehicle were x-rayed and ammunition was found hidden in a TV.
The van driver told a border official the TV was due to be delivered to the home of Marius Supelis, of Ollard Avenue, Wisbech.
UK border force officers were then made aware of the vehicle stop and the seized ammunition and the van was stopped just hours later at the Channel Tunnel terminal.
The contents of the van were x-rayed and a red checked laundry bag was discovered. It was inspected and found to have guns inside.
The three handguns were discovered hidden on a makeshift shelf in the top of a boom box music speaker, held in place by three screws. The shelf was further concealed by a white blanket.
Cambridgeshire police were made aware and carried out a warrant at the home of Supelis, 35, at just after 7.30pm the same evening (June 20, 2014).
Supelis had driven away from the house in a blue Ford Galaxy a short while before but the car was stopped in Colville Road and he was arrested on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon.
Officers executing the warrant found more than 100 bags of class B drugs with a street value of £1070 hidden in cigarette packets. The cigarette packets were hidden behind canvas pictures hung on a wall.
A total of £600 in cash was also seized together with a gas canister, two stun guns, pepper spray, six brass bullets, a cannabis grinder and a laptop.
The guns had been adapted to fire live ammunition and the bullets found in his bedroom were identical to those seized from the delivery van.
He denied being a drug dealer and said he worked for an agency working with apples and potatoes.
However, he admitted the stun guns and pepper spray were his and claimed he needed these for protection because Wisbech was a "dangerous place".
DC Jolly Herod, from the force's Serious and Organised Crime Department, said: "This has been a complex and lengthy investigation spanning five years which involved a European arrest warrant and Supelis's extradition from Spain.
"I am pleased justice has finally been done. Guns and drugs have devastating effects on people's lives and we will continue the fight to prevent their use and keep our streets free from the serious threat they pose."