THIS is the gun uncovered by police when they stopped a car containing four dissident republicans over three years ago.
The four were detained when police stopped a Ford Fiesta car on the Gorticashel Road near Omagh on October 11, 2010.
During a search of the vehicle a loaded reactivated Webley revolver and ammunition were recovered.
The men – driver, Mark McGuigan (29), of Sperrin View, Omagh; Daniel Turnbull (33) of Strule Park, Omagh; Darryn McCallion (25) Rathlin Drive, Derry; and Martin McLoone (25) Abercorn Road, Derry – were jailed for a total of 36 years at Belfast Crown Court today.
During follow-up searches police recovered a sub-machine gun, a hand gun and ammunition from a vehicle belonging to Turnbull.
Police believe these items were intended to be used in a dissident republican attack.
Speaking after the sentencing, a spokesperson for Serious Crime Branch said the recovery of the weapons had” undoubtedly saved lives.”
The spokesperson said: “Police will continue to combat the threat posed by dissident republican individuals and groups who plan to use violence to further their agendas.
“We would encourage people in the community to continue to work with us to reduce the threat posed by such reckless individuals so that we can bring them before the courts.”
Mark McGuigan was sentenced to 12 years; Daniel Turnbull got nine years; Darryn McCallion got seven years; Martin McLoone was sentenced to eight years.
McGuigan, who was driving his mother’s car at the time of his arrest, was found guilty at this trial last November.
Sentencing him, Judge Philpott said: “McGuigan still denies responsibility for his actions. He has shown no remorse and does not regret his involvement.
“There is no information before this court that he has or wants to distance himself from these type of offences.”
The court heard that Turbull had now “seen the error of his ways” and was no longer part of the dissident republican wings in Maghaberry prison.
Turnbull, McCallion and McLoone had all previously pleaded guilty at an earlier arraignment.
Each will serve half their sentences in jail and the other half on licence.