Former Liverpool football prodigy Jamie Cassidy jailed for 13 years for role in multi-million drugs plot

21 March 2024, 19:51

The former Liverpool football club youth prodigy has been jailed 13 years.
The former Liverpool football club youth prodigy has been jailed 13 years. Picture: Alamy/Greater Manchester Police

By Jenny Medlicott

A former Liverpool football club youth prodigy has been jailed for more than 13 years for his involvement in a multi-million drug empire alongside his brother.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Jamie Cassidy, 46, who rose through the club’s ranks alongside future Premiere League greats, such as Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen, was jailed for 13 years and three months on Thursday for his role in an organised crime group.

The group shipped cocaine into the UK from South America on an industrial scale.

Cassidy was ‘drawn in’ to crime by his older brother Jonathan Cassidy, 50, a former builder who likened himself to Mexican drug lord El Chapo, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Before this, Cassidy had been a potential England star, having been a pivotal member of Liverpool’s first FA Youth Cup-winning side.

Paul Greeney KC, defending Cassidy, said: “Jamie Cassidy was a footballer of exceptional talent and promise. He was signed by Liverpool Football Club in his hometown at the age of nine and, subsequently, along with Jamie Carragher, was rewarded with one of only 16 places at the FA's Centre of Excellence.

“At 15, he was leading scorer for England's under-16s team.

“The following season he was top scorer in the under-16s England team, with six goals, including three in the European Championships.

“In 1995/96 he won the FA Youth Cup alongside Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen.

“Then he broke into Liverpool's first team, but two injuries then entirely wrecked his career.”

Jamie Cassidy was jailed for 13 years.
Jamie Cassidy was jailed for 13 years. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

Read more: Chihuahua killed and owner, 25, injured after attack by 'XL-bully type' dogs

Read more: Urgent woodland search for missing teacher last seen a week ago

The ex-Liverpool youth star took on a ‘managerial’ role in the drug operation as he was involved in distributing the drugs to dealers across the country.

Meanwhile his brother Jonathan played a leading role in the international drugs plot, along with a third man, money launderer Nasar Ahmed, 51.

All three were jailed at Manchester Crown Court for involvement in the cocaine drugs operation, dealing 356kg of the drug, worth around £28 million, with £10 million in cash changing hands in the space of three months.

Jonathan Cassidy purchased large quantities of drugs from his home in Crosby, Merseyside, ordering them to Amsterdam from cartels in South America, based in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Ecuador.

The trio’s operation was unravelled by detectives after French intelligence services managed to access EncroChat, an encrypted messaging service described as ‘WhatsApp for criminals’.

The information was passed to the National Crime Agency in the UK, resulting in the Cassidy brothers’ arrests in 2020.

His brother was sentenced to 21 years.
His brother was sentenced to 21 years. Picture: Greater Manchester Police
Money launderer Ahmed was also jailed for 21 years.
Money launderer Ahmed was also jailed for 21 years. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

Prosecutor Richard Wright KC told the court on Wednesday of the EncroChat service: “The devices were used to arrange the purchase, importation, sale and distribution of multi kilo quantities across the north of England.

“The linked conspiracy to transfer criminal property relates to the movement of close to £10 million in cash in the space of three months.”

Jonathan Cassidy and Ahmed had admitted at an earlier hearing to the importation of drugs in April and March 2020.

The two, along with Jamie Cassidy, also admitted conspiracy to supply drugs and conspiracy to transfer criminal property.

Judge Nicholas Dean sentenced the former football prodigy to 13 years and three months behind bars on Thursday.

Jonathan Cassidy and Ahmed both received 21 years and nine months in jail.

Wright KC, said that although Jamie Cassidy had no part in the importation of drugs, he still played a "significant role" passing on instructions and acting on the direction of others to ensure operations went smoothly and the drugs were distributed to dealers.

His brother Jonathan played a “leading role” in the importation, however, with Ahmed acting as a middleman and “facilitator”, the court heard.

The cocaine imported from Holland was used to supply users in north-west England, Birmingham and Leeds.

While Jonathan Cassidy and Ahmed had previous convictions for serious offences, Jamie Cassidy had a single conviction for shoplifting 18 years ago.

Police found Jonathan Cassidy’s home in Whitewood Park, Liverpool, £24,430 in cash, a United Arab Emirates residence card and driving licence, large amounts of designer clothing and a Rolex perpetual watch worth around £250,000.

At Jamie’s home in Knowsley, Merseyside, where he was arrested on November 5 2020, police also found an encrypted phone, a black machete and a police case summary of a drug operation they were running.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

JD Vance joked UK could become 'Islamist' under Labour

Trump's vice-president pick JD Vance joked UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons' under Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer hosts the first roundtable with regional UK mayors, along with Angela Rayner

Ministers pledge to give more powers to local areas, in 'devolution revolution'

Starmer has launched a defence review

Keir Starmer launches review of armed forces as he warns of 'dangerous and volatile world'

Annabel Croft and Graziano di Prima   at Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour. Utilita Arena. 18th January 2024.  Ref:LMK11-180124-001 Steve Bealing/Landmark Media

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima 'flees the country' after being fired following claims of misconduct

Joe Biden has admitted that calling for Democrats to put Trump in a 'bullseye' was a mistake

Joe Biden admits it was a 'mistake' to urge Democrats to 'put Donald Trump in a bullseye' after assassination attempt

Jay Slater's mother Debbie Duncan is said to be 'demanding answers'

Jay Slater's mother 'demands answers' after human remains found just yards from teen's last known location

Trump has selected Vance as his running mate

Who is JD Vance, Donald Trump's pick for vice-president?

Donald Trump has selected JD Vance (right) as his running mate and would-be vice president

Donald Trump chooses senator JD Vance as running mate, as he is officially nominated as Republican candidate

Ralf Schumacher and David Schumacher at Hockenheimring on April 05, 2022

'I'm 100% behind you': Ralf Schumacher's son congratulates his father after he comes out as gay

David Lammy has called for a ceasefire on a trip to Israel

Foreign Secretary David Lammy reiterates call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza

Hamza Alam

East Londoner who 'disguised himself as a librarian' while urging TikTok followers to kill Jewish people jailed for 4 years

The England fan is confident England can bring football home in the next four years.

England fan has ‘no regrets’ over doomed Euro ‘winners’ tattoo

Queen Camilla left in histerics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Queen Camilla left in hysterics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper during a visit to Lewisham Police Station in south London.

Home Secretary to probe 'disgraceful' election intimidation, as Jo Cox's sister says UK politics 'not in a good place'

An FBI investigation discovered the influencer had forced women to work for her in poor conditions with no pay

Instagram influencer jailed for human trafficking and slavery

People shelter under umbrellas as the rain pounds down last week.

Return of the summer washout: UK braces for flooding and travel chaos as Met Office issues weather warnings