A CROYDON gang member and the girl who helped hide his gun and drugs have been jailed for a total of 22 years.
Titus Baffoe, 26, was driving through Anerley with Gemma Irving, 20, on July 18 when the car they were travelling in was stopped by armed police.
They searched Irving's bag and found a loaded Smith and Wesson handgun containing six rounds of ammunition together with gloves. Police also found a significant quantity of crack cocaine concealed in her clothing.
The pair had been travelling from Margate, where Irving lived, to South Norwood when the vehicle was stopped at 6.30pm.
Baffoe, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of possessing a loaded firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and offering to supply drugs.
He was sentenced to 16 years today following a three week trial at Croydon Crown Court.
Irving, of Hertford Road, Margate, was found guilty of possessing the handgun and the crack cocaine, and was handed a six year sentence.
Detective Inspector Paul Dorey, of Trident Gang Crime Command, said Irving's sentence should serve a deterrent to gang members and the young women who help them.
He said: "Today saw the conviction of a dangerous criminal intent on endangering people's lives through the possession and no doubt use of this loaded firearm that was primed ready to go.
"Titus Baffoe used his previous knowledge of police investigative methods and forensic techniques to evade capture.
"He used a young woman in an attempt to distance himself from the gun and drugs.
"However the professional and thorough investigation by the officer in the case exposed his lies."
Det Insp Dorey added: "Gemma Irving, who was 19-years-old at the time of arrest, made a life changing decision on the July 18 to assist Baffoe in this criminal act.
"She concealed the loaded gun and crack cocaine to protect him from capture.
"These convictions serve as a reminder to anybody involved in the possession and use of firearms that officers from Trident Gang Crime Command will continue to actively pursue and place them before the courts even when operating outside of London.
"It also provides a health warning and wake up call to young women who agree to hold on to firearms and drugs on behalf of gang members."