Crime family’s 63-year-old mother kept machine gun, hand grenade and Glock pistol in her wardrobe

Anne-Marie Glendenning, 63, kept a machine gun, a hand grenade and a Glock pistol in her wardrobe, police have revealed

Anne-Marie Glendenning, 63, kept a machine gun, a hand grenade and a Glock pistol in her wardrobe, police have revealed

Anne-Marie Glendenning, 63, kept a machine gun, a hand grenade and a Glock pistol in her wardrobe, police have revealed

The 63-year-old mother of an ‘untouchable’ crime family kept a machine gun, a hand grenade and a Glock pistol in her wardrobe, police revealed today as the entire family is jailed for weapons and drugs crimes.

Officers raided three properties in Newcastle where they found the illegal booty in a sweeping national crackdown on serious and organised crime.

Police uncovered a home-made hand grenade, a Stribog carbine machine pistol, three self-loading pistols and more than 300 rounds of ammunition at the homes of the Tait family in April. 

They also seized almost three kilos of cocaine worth £120,000, a kilo of MDMA worth £5,000 and a hydraulic press as part of Operation Venetic. 

On Monday Thomas Tait Sr became the last family member involved in the dangerous drugs conspiracy to plead guilty at Newcastle Crown Court – meaning police can now share details of the sting which led to their convictions. 

When officers executed a warrant at Tait Sr’s property in Kenton in April, they uncovered a Glock pistol and three kilos of cocaine. 

While the 48-year-old was being arrested, his son Thomas Tait Jnr turned up at the house and was also arrested.

Later that night, a stash of weapons were uncovered inside the home of Anne-Marie Glendenning, Tait Snr’s mother. 

During a search of her Byker flat, officers found a sports bag hidden inside a wardrobe, filled with a collection of weapons including a hand grenade, semi-automatic Stribog Carbine and a Glock pistol.

Officers raided three properties in Newcastle where they found the illegal booty including a Stribog carbine machine pistol in a sweeping national crackdown on organised crime

Officers raided three properties in Newcastle where they found the illegal booty including a Stribog carbine machine pistol in a sweeping national crackdown on organised crime

Officers raided three properties in Newcastle where they found the illegal booty including a Stribog carbine machine pistol in a sweeping national crackdown on organised crime

When officers executed a warrant at Tait Sr's property in Kenton in April, they uncovered a Glock pistol and three kilos of cocaine. While the 48-year-old was being arrested, his son Thomas Tait Jnr turned up at the house and was also arrested

When officers executed a warrant at Tait Sr's property in Kenton in April, they uncovered a Glock pistol and three kilos of cocaine. While the 48-year-old was being arrested, his son Thomas Tait Jnr turned up at the house and was also arrested

Later that night, a stash of weapons were uncovered inside the home of Anne-Marie Glendenning, Tait Snr's mother - including this Glock pistol

Later that night, a stash of weapons were uncovered inside the home of Anne-Marie Glendenning, Tait Snr's mother - including this Glock pistol

When officers executed a warrant at Tait Sr’s property in Kenton in April, they uncovered a Glock pistol and three kilos of cocaine. While the 48-year-old was being arrested, his son Thomas Tait Jnr turned up at the house and was also arrested

Glendenning, 63, told officers the bag belonged to her 21-year-old grandson Daniel, who had left it there for safe-keeping and that she believed it was full of clothes.

As the investigation continued, another man linked to the conspiracy, David Nixon, was later arrested. 

During the course of the investigation, £15,000 cash and 10 kilos of mixing agent were seized and linked to Nixon.

The 27-year-old was subsequently charged and has since appeared in court alongside all four members of the Tait family.

Following a series of hearings at Newcastle Crown Court, the group have now all been convicted of their respective roles in the conspiracy and are due to be sentenced next year at a date yet to be set. 

Speaking after the final hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Woods, from Northumbria Police’s Priority and Organised Crime Team (POCT), said: ‘These convictions are the result of a long and complex investigation which relied on the expertise of a number of specialist teams from across the Force.

‘The Tait family thought they were untouchable – not only were they making money from selling illicit substances, but they were in possession of illegal weapons.

‘No doubt many people in our communities will be shocked by the details of this case and by the images of those weapons we recovered. 

‘I would like to reiterate that serious violence and illegal weapons have no place in our neighbourhoods. Thankfully in this area it is very rare for criminals to acquire firearms of this nature.

When officers executed a warrant at Thomas Tait Sr's property in Kenton in April, they uncovered nearly three kilos of cocaine worth £120,000

When officers executed a warrant at Thomas Tait Sr's property in Kenton in April, they uncovered nearly three kilos of cocaine worth £120,000

When officers executed a warrant at Thomas Tait Sr’s property in Kenton in April, they uncovered nearly three kilos of cocaine worth £120,000

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

Police on Northumberland Terrace in Byker in April during the raid on the Tait family

‘The public can be assured that whenever we suspect that illegal firearms are in the hands of criminals our dedicated teams will waste no time in seizing and destroying them – and taking robust action against those in their possession.

‘Brazen and shameless criminals like the Taits and their associates should be warned that the net is closing in on organised crime. It’s a question of when, not if.

‘I would like to thank all the officers and staff involved in this investigation for their hard work and dedication.

‘Guilty pleas from all those involved shows there really was no escape from the sheer volume of evidence we were able to gather, and put before the courts.’ 

Tait Sr, 48, of Newcastle, pleaded guilty to Possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of a firearm.

Glendenning, of Byker, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on August 21 and pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.

Tait’s eldest son Thomas Tait, 22, of Walker, appearing on July 29 and admitted possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

His brother Daniel Tait, 21, of Newcastle, also appearing on July 29 and admitted possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, three counts of possession of a firearm and possessing ammunition.

Their associate, David Nixon, 27, of Blyth, appearing on August 29, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a firearm and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

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