Ex Madonna Minder Jailed for Manchester Airport gun smuggling

A former US marine who once worked as a bodyguard for Madonna has been jailed for 10 years for smuggling guns into the UK on commercial flights.

37-year-old Steven Greenoe, from North Carolina, bought guns from American gun shops, broke them down and smuggled them into the UK in his luggage.

Greenoe was yesterday sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by three years supervision on his release.

In November, 31-year-old Steven Cardwell, from Liverpool, was given an indeterminate jail sentence after he took smuggled guns from Greenoe and then sold them on to UK criminals.

The court in America heard that Greenoe smuggled 63 pistols on nine trips to the UK between February and July 2010.

He bought the guns in North Carolina and then travelled to Manchester Airport.

The trial in Liverpool heard that weapons linked to the conspiracy were used in at least one fatal shooting in the UK.

In October last year a 24-year-old man suffered a bullet wound to the leg during a drive-by shooting in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

The gun used in the shooting was never found but cartridges at the scene matched guns bought by Greenoe in America, the trial heard.

It is understood he was stopped by airport security staff in North Carolina on at least one occasion when screening detected items in his suitcase.

But he managed to convince workers he was an arms salesman and the weapons parts were dummies.

At the time of the offences, the US citizen had "indefinite leave to remain in the UK" because his then wife, is British.

The couple are now divorced.

Giving evidence in Cardwell's trial, the ex-wife told the jury of Greenoe's glamorous lifestyle as a bodyguard to A-list celebrities.

While working in Paris and Amsterdam, he provided security services for the Hollywood movie Oceans 12, Mrs Greenoe revealed.

She said she saw photographs of him in the company of stars including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Madonna, which had been posted on his Facebook page.

However, his pedigree as a soldier was thrown into doubt when certificates were discovered after his arrest which appeared to contradict his claim to be a captain in the US Marines Corps.

One suggested he never rose above the rank of lance corporal in an administration role.