Liverpool

Liverpool drugs baron Robert Gerrard jailed after giving himself up

Robert Gerrard and Michael Moogan Image copyright NCA
Image caption Michael Moogan (right) is still wanted in connection with conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK

A drugs baron who handed himself in after three years on the run because of the pressures of being one of the UK's most wanted men has been jailed.

Robert Gerrard, 53 and from Liverpool, was named on a register of alleged criminal fugitives in February 2014 and gave himself up in October 2016.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK in a £60m drugs plot between May and June 2013.

Gerrard was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for 14 years.

'Pressure got too much'

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said Gerrard travelled to Rotterdam and met international drug traffickers with the plan of importing drugs from Latin America to Europe.

The NCA appealed for help to find him following an October 2013 raid on a cafe in the Dutch city.

Police believe Gerrard and others were using it as a front for a drugs smugglers' global operations centre.

When he handed himself in, Gerrard told officers the pressure of being on the run had "got too much" for him.

Greg McKenna, regional head of investigations for the NCA, said: "After being on the run and evading justice for so long, Robert Gerrard is finally where he belongs.

"He was fundamental to the plot to smuggle cocaine into the UK and fled in an attempt to avoid the long prison sentence he has now received.

"Gerrard featured in our Most Wanted campaigns and handed himself because he couldn't cope with the pressure of staying on the run.

"Other fugitives should learn from his example - we won't stop hunting you, and we won't stop making your life on the run as uncomfortable as possible."

The NCA said Michael Moogan, aged 31 and from Liverpool, is still wanted in connection with conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK.

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