Man arrested after gun drama

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A Hailsham man has been charged with firearms offences following a dramatic arrest by armed anti-gang police on the A27 last week.

Shots were fired as officers swooped on a suspect during rush hour on the A27 near Lewes at 4.30pm on Thursday.

Witnesses reported seeing officers in unmarked cars ram a Mercedes and plastic rounds were used to incapacitate the car in the Metropolitan Police-led operation.

Noah Ripley, 25, from Hailsham, was charged with possession of a firearm, and two counts of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to enable another to endanger life.

He appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Saturday alongside Luke Kelly, 19, of Catford, and Tyrone Salih, 24, of Orpington.

Ripley is alleged to have conspired with Kelly on September 11 in Bromley and with Salih on October 28 in Orpington.

It is understood Operation Trident’s anti-gang command officers followed Ripley to Sussex after surveying the alleged meetings with Kelly and Salih.

Bail was refused and all three men were remanded in custody to appear before Woolwich Crown Court on November 22.

The arrest caused disruption to one of the country’s busiest roads, with one lane of the eastbound carriageway closed during rush hour.

On Friday the Met was forced to deny internet rumours that the arrests were related to an anti-terror operation.