26 June 2024 06:00 Met officers take dangerous man off the streets of east London A man has been jailed following a targeted proactive operation to remove drugs from the streets of Hackney and Tower Hamlets

A Met Police investigation has led to the arrest and conviction of an Islington man for the possession of an illegal firearm and drug distribution.

Thompson Caninhas, 30 (27.04.94) of St John’s Way, Islington was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday, 25 June.

Caninhas was found guilty of possessing a prohibited weapon, specifically a 9mm self-loading pistol. Additionally, he was convicted of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, predominantly heroin and cocaine.

Officers discovered a drug manufacturing setup in a premises controlled by Caninhas. It included a ten tonne drug press, various substances, and kitchen utensils used for illicit drug activities. Officers also discovered 300 rounds of ammunition of various calibres hidden inside socks in a drawer for use in the pistol and other firearms.

In July 2023, a successful investigation was launched by specialist crime officers in collaboration with local Hackney officers as part of their efforts to tackle the drugs trade and related violence in Hackney and Tower Hamlets. We are committed to policing on behalf of local communities, addressing the issues that matter the most to them, as part of our wider A New Met for London strategy.

Detective Inspector Damian Hill, from the Specialist Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: “Drugs have devastating impacts on communities and guns lead to the serious violence on the streets of London.

“Our team collaborates with local officers to dismantle firearm-related crimes in Hackney and Tower Hamlets. The swift action taken by the officers demonstrates our dedication to maintaining public safety and combating criminal activity within London.

“To further enhance our efforts, we have also increased patrols in high-risk areas serving as a visible deterrent to potential offenders and reassuring the public of their safety. If you have any questions, please speak to local officers who will be happy to hear from you.”

As part of an intelligence-led investigation, officers were observing Caninhas after he was found to be moving large numbers of suspicious packages. When officers saw him pick a heavy bag out of his car, they stopped him, and found it to contain illegal drugs. Caninhas was arrested and a search was carried out at the property on Downs Road, E5 where drugs and a firearm were found.

Upon entering the premises officers discovered a room dedicated to the preparation and packaging of Class A drugs. The room was equipped with various tools, including the press, a white bag containing separate bags of brown powder and blocks of various substances, and other drug paraphernalia. As the search progressed officers uncovered a bag for life containing brown taped block packages filled with a mixture of non-controlled drugs alongside Class A and C substances.