A former Liverpool footballer has been jailed for eight years after he became a cocaine dealer since quitting the professional game.
Midfielder Layton Maxwell was just 19 when he scored on his debut at Anfield after coming through the ranks with England stars Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. But his career never took off and he decided to join a cocaine crime gang.
A court heard Maxwell, now 43, allowed a multi-million-pound drugs gang to use his home in Cardiff as a safehouse for storing drugs in a £6m racket.
Organised crime officers found drugs, cash, and weighing equipment at his house and prosecutors said he was paid £500-a-month for his role as a ‘courier’ for gang bosses. He was arrested as part of a UK-wide investigation called Operation Venetic into organised crime which saw millions pounds worth of drugs and cash seized.
Maxwell was arrested in an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Raids were carried out after officers busted open an encrypted messaging service that had been used by gang leaders.
More than 60 kilos of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin with a street value of an estimated £6 million and £2,500,000 in cash was seized in police raids.
Maxwell was one of eight defendants jailed for a total of 80 years at Cardiff Crown Court – with more gang members yet to be sentenced.
Jailing Maxwell for eight years, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke described it as a ‘dirty trade bringing misery to many.’
Maxwell, of Rhiwbina, Cardiff, admitted conspiracy to supply the Class A drug cocaine and was jailed for eight years for his role.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thorne, said the raids in south Wales alone resulted in ‘two tonnes of drugs and millions of pounds in cash recovered.’
Midfielder Maxwell, who also played for Cardiff City and Swansea City, came through the ranks at Anfield. He was highly rated and scored a goal on his senior debut for Liverpool in 1999 – only to be released by the club in 2001.