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Four guns and cannabis farm found in 'UK FBI' Essex coastal town raids

DEADLY: A Smith and Wesson handgun seized in the raids

FOUR firearms were seized after police raided a suspected cannabis factory on Canvey Island and a home in Westcliff-on-Sea.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said armed officers had been involved in the searches of the addresses in the Essex coastal areas on Thursday.

An NCA spokesman said: "Searches conducted at an address in Westcliff-on-Sea recovered three handguns and around 90 rounds of ammunition.

"A separate search at an address in Canvey Island resulted in the seizu and re of a number of cannabis plants, hydroponics equipment, a CS gas canister and a fourth hand gun."

The raids were a joint operation between the NCA, often dubbed Britain's FBI, and the Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

Two men arrested during the operation were charged the next day.

Cousins Darren Sexton, 41 from Westcliff-on-Sea, and Nicholas Sexton, 32, from Southend are facing court.

Darren Sexton was charged with firearms offences in relation to the seized handguns and ammunition.

Nicholas Sexton was charged with being concerned with the production of cannabis and possession of a CS gas canister.

OCP Operations Manager Matt McMillan said: "Removing weapons like these handguns from the criminal market is a priority for both the NCA and MPS.

"It is key to protecting our communities from the harm they could have caused.

"Our investigation into this seizure continues."

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