A criminal family from Salford who stole over £ 1 million in cocaine from a notorious Liverpool gang set up a secret ‘Man City’ password as they sold the caches to local criminals.
Liverpool gangster Richard Caswell conspired with the Salford-based Cox family to steal 30kg of cocaine from a hidden house in Merseyside. The drugs belonged to a well-known organized criminal group in Liverpool.
A father and son suffered serious injuries during the raid on May 23, 2020, when they were chopped and beaten by Caswell along with Jason and Craig Cox. Hired hand, Ben Monks-Gorton, posing as a courier driver in a hi-vis jacket, walked to the door of the house with an empty box.
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In three minutes, they beat the man and his son with machetes and an ax. They then snatched 30kg of cocaine to a wholesale value of £ 1.2 million from a storm drain in the backyard of the house.
Footage shows the gang running back to a white van, which was on fake license plates and which never recovered. They throw two bags of drugs in the back of the car and then drive off.
At Manchester Crown Court, prosecutor Alex Langhorn told the court how the gang quickly started selling from cocaine transport to other criminals in Manchester. A courier named Michael Nevin was the key to this process, Mr Langhorn said.
The Echo reports that Nevin arranged to sell the drugs to a well-known criminal in the Manchester area. The man then sent a ‘buddy’ to meet Nevin near Manchester City’s training ground in East Manchester.
At the handover, Nevin sold six kilos of cocaine to a criminal who used the Encro handle ‘Festivetape’. After the handover, a customer contacted again and said he would buy an additional seven kilos of drugs.
This second meeting was also held close to Manchester City’s training ground. The court heard that the criminals involved in the transfer used the password ‘Man City’ for the meeting.
The court also heard that one of Nevin’s customers was annoyed with the use of the ‘Man City’ password because he was a Manchester United fan. Nevin joked that the customer had been left ‘smoking’.
Police learned of the meetings near the Manchester City area after reading messages posted on the EncroChat network, which were used by the criminals involved. Greater Manchester Police and the North West Regional Crime Unit later arrested the main participants in the conspiracy.
Monks-Gorton, 30, was jailed for six years and nine months for his part in the robbery. Michael Nevin, 35, a courier who described himself as a ‘gangster transporter’ for the ‘tight knit’ Cox gang, was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison.
Nevin, 35, who worked as a courier for the Cox gang, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis and conspiracy to possess criminal property. Nevin, who was not involved in the raid in the living room, was jailed for nine years and nine months.
Caswell will be convicted along with Jason Cox, Craig Cox and Lee Cox next month. The four men have pleaded guilty to drug crimes and possession of criminal property.
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