Liverpool news Crook typed 'sorry Tony' text seconds before police swooped PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - A court heard police found the unsent message on Joseph Harding's phone
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A panicking drugs courier was interrupted while typing an apologetic text to his boss by police officers swooping on his gang. Detectives approved the stop of Joseph Harding after watching him take part in a secret meeting with associates. The 55-year-old had almost half a kilogram of cocaine - worth up to £50,000 - in his pocket at the time. Officers seized his mobile phone and found an unsent text message that simply read: "SORRY TONY." It was the last operation performed on his phone and had been drafted for a number linked to Anthony Nash. Nash was one of two brothers who ran a drugs empire that caused misery in Kirkby. His younger sibling Terence had access to an arsenal of guns and grenades available if their operation needed it. Harding was jailed this week, marking the latest stage of Merseyside Police's Operation Bandit. He was sentenced alongside John Farrell - whose Kirkby home he had been in minutes before his arrest. Read More Related Articles Calm after the storm in Merseyside's tinderbox after seven shootings in six months Police watched Harding and Anthony Nash arrive at Farrell's Minstead Avenue home on the evening of September 19, 2019. The meeting took place a day after a safehouse linked to the gang was raided in Bewley Drive, leading to £32,980 in cash and cocaine worth up to £29,000 being seized. Harding left Farrell's home at 5.36pm, climbing into his Toyota Avensis. He was stopped by police at 5.41pm. Stashed in one of his pockets was 492g of cocaine with a purity of 87%. The wholesale deal had a potential street value of up to £49,287. John Farrell, 40 and of Minstead Avenue in Kirkby, admitted two counts of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracies to possess a firearm, ammunition, an explosive substance and to supply Class A drugs. He was jailed for 16 years.
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. Unsent but typed out and designated for Anthony Nash the recovered message simply said: "Sorry Tony." Harding, of Cawthorne Avenue, Kirkby admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was sentenced to six years and four months in jail. Farrell was sentenced at the same Manchester Crown Court hearing. As one police team targeted Harding a second raided the 40-year-old's home. Inside they found a safe bolted to the wall. It was removed and opened, revealing seven kilograms of cocaine with a potential street value of between £277,305 and £691,487.
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Police returned to the property the next day and the search was extended to the loft. They found an arsenal of weapons including a silver revolver loaded with six cartridges, a black revolver, 20 further cartridges, a semi-automatic sawn-off shotgun and five grenades - requiring a bomb squad to be called to the home.
Grenades found by police in the loft a home in Kirkby. Image: Merseyside Police.
Farrell admitted two counts of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracies to possess a firearm, ammunition, an explosive substance and to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to 16 years. The Nash brothers went on trial last year and jurors acquitted Anthony of any involvement with the weapons. But Terence was convicted of a series of firearms offences.
Gang members jailed over cocaine and grenade seizures that left drug empire in ruins
Anthony Nash, of Bracknall Close in the Southdene area of Kirkby, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to possess criminal property. The 36 year old was sentenced to 15 years and six months at a Manchester Crown Court hearing last month. Terence Nash, 35, was sentenced to 24 years after being convicted of two counts of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracies to possess a firearm, ammunition, an explosive substance and criminal property. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
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