Ex-Marine faces gun smuggling trial
A former Marine faces trial in the United States accused of smuggling more than 60 handguns into Britain in his luggage.
Steven Greenoe, 37, is alleged to have imported at least 66 weapons into the country from his home in North Carolina.
Police fear many of the guns, which included Glock and Ruger 9mm pistols, were sold to criminal gangs in north-west England.
One drive-by shooting in Wythenshawe, Manchester, last October, in which a man was hit in the leg, allegedly involved a gun linked to Greenoe.
Documents posted in US courts reveal the suspected gun runner was stopped by security staff but talked his way on to a flight. He claimed to be an arms salesman returning from a gun show and that the broken-down weapons parts were harmless dummy samples.
Former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism chief Andy Hayman said details of the case are "genuinely shocking".
Writing in a national newspaper, he said: "This makes a mockery of the stringent checks we all endure at US airports, such as removing our shoes and belts, having our toothpaste confiscated and all the other irritants. Steven Greenoe's guns could just have easily been bombs."
Greenoe, who lived with his British wife Elizabeth in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, styled himself online as a "security and investigations" specialist. Investigators have linked him to 10 flights that flew to Manchester via Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Atlanta last year.
The latest indictment posted in a North Carolina court outlines how he is accused of illegally buying and exporting firearms. Greenoe, who remains in custody, is due to go on trial in the United States Eastern District Court of North Carolina in March.
Greenoe was also charged with making false statements at a string of gun shops across the US state. The offences took place between February and July last year and involve 63 weapons sold for around 500 US dollars (£316) each.