Rajon Graham, 34, a lance sergeant in the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards – recognisable by the distinctive red jackets and black bearskin hats – was dishonourably discharged from the Army in October last year after pleading guilty to four counts of selling ammunition.
The Jamaican-born squaddie was based at the Wellington Barracks near Buckingham Palace and tasked with carrying out state and ceremonial duties when he was caught by the police sting between December 7, 2020 and January 28, 2021 in which he gave the “gangster” a tour of his barracks.
The disgraced soldier sold a total of 300 9mm bullets, which he referred to as “sweets”, wrapped in Bacofoil sandwich bags, for £5,800 in cash to the officer posing as a gang lord involved in the drugs trade.
The ammunition was from a manufacturer who supplied the Coldstream Guards – the oldest continuous regiment in the Army, which carries out ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – but the Army claimed the bullets were not stolen from the military, Southward Crown Court was told.
However, jailing the married father-of-one Judge David Tomlinson told him: “Your ability to obtain this ammunition must have been connected to your occupation.”
The court heard Graham, who was responsible for the ceremonial kit used by the regiment, including swords and bearskins, boasted to the undercover officer, “D”, of his criminal network.
He took D inside Victoria Barracks, the Windsor base of the Coldstream Guards, during a meeting on December 17, 2020, and offered to show him live rifles in the armoury, but the officer refused because it was “too risky”.
Duncan Atkinson, KC, prosecuting, said: “The defendant intended there to be a high risk of death or serious harm because he was selling 300 live bullets to an individual he believed was involved in the dealing of drugs and had criminal associates who needed live ammunition in the context of the drugs trade.”
Graham was arrested alongside Warrant Officer Kirtland Gill, 42, who was due to become the first black regimental sergeant major in the Coldstream Guards.
He was cleared of plotting to sell ammunition with Graham after a trial last year claiming he had “no knowledge” of the scheme and telling the jury his friend Graham set him up.
“He’s leading a double life,” he said.
Graham was arrested again just two weeks after he entered his guilty pleas for giving someone a revolver loaded with two live rounds at a north London party in December 2021, but not charged.
Austin Stoton, defending, claimed his client fell into “desolate times” after suffering depression following his return to the UK from a tour of Afghanistan in 2013.
But Detective Constable Simon Dadgostar, from London’s Flying Squad, said: “He was in a position of trust and power which he abused and now he will pay the price.”
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