Gaz Corfield, 2:42 pm, Wednesday, 8 February, 2012Follow @TheWestLondoner
Pinner man Guy Savage, director of arms dealership Sabre Defence Industries, faces extradition to the US to face charges of gun-running after the Home Secretary approved the request from US authorities.
Savage, a 42-yr-old arms dealer, is charged in the US with illegally importing and distributing firearms and restricted component parts. Home Secretary Theresa May formally approved his extradition to Tennessee in late January this year.
In February last year Met Police firearms officers ambushed outside his detatched Daymer Gardens home in Pinner before shooting out the tyres of his car with special Hatton rounds, which are designed to disintegrate on impact to prevent injuries from ricochets.
Police also raided Sabre Defence’s HQ in Northolt, seizing some 500 firearms. Savage formerly helda Registered Firearms Dealer’s licence with a Section 5 authority, meaning he could legally trade in automatic rifles – such as the M16-type rifles he sold in the US – and machine guns.
Sabre Defence Industries’ American subsidiary was raided by officers from the American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 2010. They were investigating claims that Savage’s employees were exporting firearms and components out of America without the appropriate licences.
Seth Levine, speaking on behalf of Savage, said: “He’s a properly licenced trader in arms. He was entitled to be exporting and importing items like these.
“There’s no suggestion that the end users were anything other than appropriate end users. There’s no suggestion that he was engaged in the clandestine smuggling of arms that could end up in nefarious hands.”
Savage, a UK citizen, and Tennessee residents President Charles Shearon, Chief Financial Officer Elmer Hill, Director of Sales Michael Curlett and International Purchasing Manager Arnold See Jr., were charged with conspiracy, making false statements, smuggling, wire fraud and mail fraud by the American authorities. The latter two charges relate to the defendants’ use of email to communicate with each other. The four Americans all pleaded guilty in March last year.
According to the American indictment, between 2003 and 2009 Sabre employees were accused of smuggling hundreds of weapons parts, including 5.56mm rifle assemblies, AR-15 bolt catches and A2 flash hiders, all of which require a license to export.
Savage is alleged to have directed the illegal activities from the United Kingdom, as well as encouraging his employees to conceal unlicensed components in false bottomed containers. American prosecutors claim that this was so Sabre Defence Industries could evade export restrictions.
The maximum penalty for evading the American Arms Control and Export Act is 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Savage’s current bail conditions include a 9pm to 6am curfew. He is also prohibited from entering Sabre Defence’s Northolt HQ. Savage has until Monday 13th February to appeal to the High Court to have the deportation order overturned. If he fails, he will be extradited to Tennessee to stand trial there.