UK drug kingpin El Shepo sold drugs from a Citroen Berlingo van

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An illegal drug kingpin known as El Shepo, who managed his organised crime network using Citroen Berlingo vans, has been sentenced.

Ian Shepherd, 44, is After leading a nationwide drug ring that supplied heroin and cocaine, this week he was sentenced today to 25 years in prison ‘on a commercial scale’All over Great Britain

Manchester Crown Court heard that the organised crime group was based in Kirkby, Merseyside and was involved in ‘significant meetings and exchanges’ at locations including Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Glasgow, London and Salford Quays.

According to the report, regular activity was also found in Manchester, Chester and Trafford. Manchester Evening News.



Ian Shepherd, 44, will serve 25 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple charges related to a drugs ring
After being found guilty on multiple charges related to a drug ring, Ian Shepherd (44) will spend 25 years in prison

Shephard was the leader of the group, as was John Burkquest (37), who was arrested in August 2013.

Shepherd used a Citroen Berlingo as a means to travel between deals. He also wore a high-visibility vest in order to appear to be a tradesman.

After Shepherd placed the van up for sale, Shepherd purchased it from an undercover officer and discovered that he was hiding large quantities of drugs in a rear compartment.

Only an adaptable wheel trim removal tool was able to access the hidden space.



The court heard that cocaine found at his mother-in-law's was worth around £1,613
The court heard that cocaine found at his mother-in-law’s was worth around £1,613

Shepherd was finally caught in July 2019. A search of Shepherd’s mother-in law’s home revealed cocaine and a firearm that were confirmed to match his DNA.

The court heard the cocaine was estimated to have a street value of around £1,613.

Peter Hunter, defending, stated that Shepherd, a father of three, was involved in organised crime to help pay for a house for his children.

The court heard Mr. Hunter say: “He wants to apologise and show remorse.

“He wants there to be no excuses and he doesn’t want to blame others, but he knows he’s made a huge, huge mistake.”



Shepherd's defence said he became involved in organised crime as a way to fund a house for his family
Shepherd claims that he got involved in organised crime to pay for a house for his family.

Judge Anthony Cross, QC stated that there had been ‘tell-tale’Signs that Shepherd played a major role in the drug gang.

“It is accepted that that group was led by you,”Judge Cross spoke.

“It was involved in the supply of cocaine and heroin on a commercial scale throughout the United Kingdom.

“It was truly the work of an organised crime group operating on a national scale.”

Ian Shepherd finally pleaded guilty two counts of conspiracy for a controlled drug Class A, conspiracy in possession of a prohibited weapon, and three counts possessing a prohibited weapon.

He also pleaded guilty for possessing a prohibited smoothbore gun, possessing ammunition with no firearm certificate, as well as possessing explosives.

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