Connect with us

Crime and Punishment

UNTOUCHABLE: Drug Gang Leader Jailed For 22 Years

An “untouchable” crime boss has been jailed for 22 years for running a multimillion-pound drug smuggling ring.

Matthew Harrod led a network of smugglers and couriers who used encrypted mobile phones to deal drugs including cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines.

He along with nine other members of the gang were all jailed at Woolwich Crown Court on December 10.

This was the end of a Metropolitan Police operation that began when the gang was placed under surveillance in June 2018 and ended with 21 people behind bars.

Harrod, 47, of Kingsway, Hove, East Sussex, had been released from prison in 2017 after serving part of a previous 10-year sentence for drug dealing and been placed under a serious crime prevention order.

The measure, designed to stop him from returning to a life of crime, placed him under restrictions including banning him from having more than one mobile phone.

But by the summer of the following year, Harrod was found to be back running a drug dealing network, and at the time of his arrest in January last year had three mobile phones, two of which were EncroChat encrypted devices designed to keep communications secret.

The police operation to take down the smuggling ring saw the seizure of 31kg of cocaine, 308kg of amphetamine, 590kg of cannabis resin and 1.7kg of heroin.

Investigators also seized £900,000 in cash and weapons including a Taser, knives and air guns.

Detective Sergeant Rob Wiggins said: “He was clearly the organiser and the leader of this criminal network. Harrod ultimately thought he was untouchable – and he wasn’t.”

Several members of the gang refused to give police the Pin or passwords to access their regular and encrypted mobile phones.

But investigators did manage to access one encrypted device belonging to senior gang member Lee Taylor when he was arrested that gave access to crucial information.

It gave a snapshot of a typical day for the network, with details of 30 drugs deliveries and dealing with £750,000 in cash.

Police said the network was at the top of a tree which would have sold drugs to urban street gangs.

Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “In his role as head of this organised crime network, Harrod tasked his associates to carry out his illicit activities and thought he was untouchable by police, concealing his criminal behaviour on an EncroChat device.

“Little did he know that we were putting significant resources into curtailing his activities and bringing him to justice.”

Harrod, the only member of the gang to deny the charges against him, was sentenced to 22 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis after a trial.

He had previously admitted breaching his serious crime prevention order.

The remaining gang members who were also sentenced on December 10 included Harrod’s second in command Paul Clarke 45, of Horns Lodge Lane, Tonbridge, Kent, who was jailed for 15 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine, cannabis and possession of criminal property.

Senior gang member John O’Brien, 69, of Bean Road, Greenhithe, was jailed for 11 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis, while Taylor, 43, of Landstead Road, Greenwich, refused to attend court but was sentenced to eight years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of criminal property.

Additional Reporting By The Press Association 

Leave your vote

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: In the Shadow of 9/11, a British Man was KILLED by Islamic Extremists… his former Girlfriend Tells Her Story

Exclusive

REVEALED: ‘Somalian Islamist’ Linked to KILLING of Tory MP Sir David Amess

Terror

COMMENT: Vaccine Passport U-Turn Proves Boris is THREAT to Liberty and Freedom

Latest

COMMENT: The Government MUST DEAL with Radical Islam After The Killing of Sir David Amess

Comment

INSIDE 9/11: FBI’s ‘Bin Laden Expert’ Was Found DEAD at World Trade Center

WORLD EXCLUSIVE

ALL OUT: As Queen Praises Tennis Star, Adil Ray Sparks Race Row

CULTURE WARS

ROYAL SERVED: Prince Andrew to face Virginia Roberts in the US after High Court Intervention

Latest

NOT WELCOME: U.S. Stops Afghani Refugee Flights Over Measles Outbreak

Latest

TOO SAVAGE: Woke Mob Would CANCEL Lily Savage in 2021, says Paul O’Grady

Entertainment

GYPSY KING: Tyson Fury Beats DOSSER Deontay Wilder in Epic Knockout

BOXING

UK in Turmoil, Ministers in Hiding and Opposition in Civil War… WHO WILL LEAD BRITAIN?

Boris Johnson

EXCLUSIVE: Amir Khan ‘Removed From American Flight Following ALCOHOL and Mask-Row’ – NOT Racism

CULTURE WARS

ELLO, ALLAHU AKBAR: EastEnders Star Compares BBC Bosses To Taliban

Latest

NTA Winners Ant and Dec ‘Promoting Sex, Drug and Booze Vids to Kids’, investigation finds

Entertainment

HYPOCRITE UNMASKED: Democrat Lawmaker MOCKED Over Met Gala Dress

Latest

ON ANOTHER PLANET: As Brits Struggle, BBC Boss Gets £75k Pay Rise

Latest

BACK TO THE FUTURE? UK’s HGV Crisis Could Be Solved by Trains

BUSINESS

AMERICAN HERO: Trump Backed by NYPD as Biden BOOED at Ground Zero

Politicalite USA

FIGHTING BIG TECH: We’re Suing The Censors – Help Us Fight Back!

Latest

“I’M SORRY” ISIS Bride Shamima Begum Begs Brits for Forgiveness, Wants To Face Trial in UK

Latest

HOT 10

FOLLOW US ON FB

Most Shared

Connect
GET UPDATES IN YOUR INBOX

Hey there!

Forgot password?

Forgot your password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Close
of

Processing files…