Gladiators' Warrior was jailed for working for Britain's 'Pablo Escobar'
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You may remember Michael Ahearne as the 6'4'' muscle man known as Warrior on the classic 90s sports entertainment show Gladiators.
But as is so often the case in showbiz, his fame took a turn after leaving the series, and the athlete got involved in a drug gang led by the UK's answer to Pablo Escobar.
For those not in the know, Curtis Warren - known as 'Britain's Pablo Escobar' or 'Liverpool's most infamous gangster' - has a long criminal history.
In 1996, police found him to be in possession of large quantities of drugs - including cannabis, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine - in the Netherlands.
Authorities also seized ammunition, hand grenades, guns, gas canisters and large amounts of cash.
During his time in prison for the offences, he was found guilty of manslaughter after a fight broke out which resulted in the death of another inmate in 1999, and he was also charged with drugs trafficking in 2005.
Soon after his release, Warren was arrested in Jersey in 2007 for conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the country and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
So how exactly did Warrior get involved with such a criminal mastermind? Especially when you consider that he was always considered to be a big guy with a big heart.
It all started when the brother-in-law of 'Britain's Pablo Escobar' Philip Glennon Junior was arrested and charged with attempted murder after firing off gunshots at a bouncer outside the Venue nightclub in Liverpool in 1996.
Reports state that Glennon's dad enlisted the help of the gang boss, who then paid veteran-turned-corrupt copper DCI Elmore Davies to leak inside information about the prosecution.
And this is where Warrior comes in. As a friend of the detective, he was tasked with passing information from Davies on to Warren.
Sounding like a plot straight out of Line of Duty, the plan was foiled after authorities were alerted to Detective Davies' activities.
At this point, Ahearne had moved into the copper's house and undercover officers managed to bug the home.
In a taped conversation played in their court case, Davies was heard telling the former TV star: "This is important. Curtis's phone in prison is being recorded. His cell is bugged. There is an undercover policeman in prison with him.
"Curtis's wife's phone's being tapped. This is confidential police information. Dutch police have also tapped the phone of someone Curtis has spoken to.
"There's a suggestion he [Warren] is trying to bribe witnesses. That's top f**king secret. It can only come from one place and that's me. He won't get it from anybody else.
"I have got it from the DCI dealing with it and it's top, top secret."
Davies was promised £10,000 for the information.
In the end, Davies received five years for his crimes, while Warrior got 15 months, but was released after six.
It appears he's on the straight and narrow now, with the Gladiators' social media accounts sharing an update in 2019 stating: "The mighty Warrior (Mike Ahearne) is still in great shape and runs Mike Ahearne’s Pro Gym in Birkenhead."
Featured Image Credit: ITV/States of Jersey Police
Topics: TV and Film, Crime, Drugs, UK News