Royal Marines caught ferrying drugs in MoD vehicles jailed

·5-min read
Ian Broadfoot and Stuart Bryant.
Ian Broadfoot and Stuart Bryant.

TWO Royal Marine Commandos caught ferrying drugs in Ministry of Defence vehicles have been jailed for a total of nine years.

Grant Broadfoot, 29, and Stuart Bryant, 31, were snared during a £300,000 cannabis bust in Glasgow's Mount Vernon on June 3 2020.

Detectives also went on to find Broadfoot had used his position as an ammunition storeman at HM Naval Base in Faslane to offer the sale of live rounds to others.

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The discovery was made during the probe into the once top-secret Encrochat encrypted phone network used by criminals.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

Broadfoot and Bryant, above, today returned to the dock at the High Court in Glasgow.

Broadfoot, of the city's Tollcross, was sentenced to five years and three months after he pled guilty to a charge of being involved in serious organised crime.

Bryant, of Galston, Ayrshire was locked up for three years and nine months after he admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Lady Stacey branded the crimes "disgraceful" stating the pair should be "absolutely ashamed" of themselves.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

Broadfoot's 62 year-old dad Ian, above, was also sentenced.

He had pleaded guilty to producing and being concerned in the supply of cannabis as well as a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Lady Stacey decided not to jail Ian Broadfoot and instead ordered him to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work as part of a 27-month community payback order.

The marines - both then serving with the Royal Navy - were caught with the drugs during the Operational Final police probe.

Detective were tipped off that a consignment was being transported in a Ford Transit van - belonging to the MOD - travelling between Merseyside and Scotland.

The vehicle - driven by Bryant - was tailed to Mount Vernon in Glasgow.

He parked beside a Renault Kangoo van - also owned by the MOD.

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Broadfoot was seen chatting to Bryant and police believed a "drugs handover" was taking place.

Officers soon swooped on the men also finding Ian Broadfoot in the driver's seat of the Renault although it was accepted he had no involvement.

A total of 11 vacuum sealed bags of cannabis were found in the Ford Transit with another 19 in the Renault.

A £27,000 cash haul was later found during a search of Grant Broadfoot's then home in the city's Baillieston.

His dad's property in Mount Vernon was also checked over - police seized £21,030 in mixed notes, a vacuum sealer machine, a bag of cannabis as well as other drug paraphernalia in his garage.

Prosecutor John McElroy told the court: "If all cannabis recovered was divided into street deals has the potential to realise approximately £301,820."

The Europe-wide Operation Venetic - where the authorities cracked encrypted messages sent by criminals - revealed the marines had been involved in further crime.

Grant Broadfoot had been having secret chats under the username "Veteranpants".

This included organising money drop offs and drivers including Bryant who was unable to perform a job on one occasion due to contracting coronavirus.

Mr McElroy added: "In April 2020 Broadfoot appears to be offering to supply ammunition.

"The significance being that he had access to ammunition at Faslane Naval due to his position as an ammunitions storeman."

Broadfoot was quoted as telling a potential buyer: "Put the feelers out and if you get a bite I'll get them, I'm in control of the ammunition."

He also told another individual: "I can sort you out with ammo...I've got contacts available.

"I've got 7.62 machine gun rounds, 5.56 semi-automatic rounds and 9mm Glock rounds."

In May 2020, Broadfoot further stated to a contact "I have Ministry of Defence vans" adding he "signs them out" when he needs them as they have shooting ranges in Liverpool.

He also said "when the pandemic dies down" that "more range packages will go out".

In WhatsApp messages in April 2020, Bryant meantime spoke of a previous "90k of hash" deal he had apparently been involved in.

In another this time to Broadfoot, Bryant asked: "Have you got any spare work and or need movements. I am in a w*** place with money...and need some shifts."

During a further chat with a Merseyside-based contact, Bryant is warned he faces a "little three year stretch".

But, he replied: "Worth the money."

Grant Broadfoot's QC John Scullion said he had "not sought to blames others for his poor decision making".

Louise Arrol, defending Bryant, stated he had turned to crime as he struggled to pay long-standing legitimate debts.

Ian Broadfoot's lawyer Allan MacLeod told the hearing the dad was involved with cannabis to try and help his wife with personal issues.

Sentencing, Lady Stacey told Grant Broadfoot: "You were in the Royal Navy and you took advantage of that.

"You took a role of organising other. You got things sorted out."

Addressing Bryant, she said: "In doing what you did - and the position that you held - it was a grave breach of trust.

"For a member of the Royal Navy, that is disgraceful."

The judge told the elder Broadfoot she had considered he had a role in caring for his wife and a young relative.

Lady Stacey told him: "You are getting a community payback order - but only just."

Grant Broadfoot will also be subject to a three-year Serious Crime Prevention Order when he is freed from prison.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Head of Police Scotland’s Organised Crime Unit, said: “The three men intended to blight our communities with drugs and violence and their sentencing is the welcome culmination of a protracted and complex investigation.
“I am taking the opportunity to thank the team of Police Scotland officers who worked tirelessly, with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, to bring the men to justice and to also acknowledge the invaluable assistance from our colleagues in the Ministry of Defence Police.”