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An anti-lockdown gym owner has been exposed as a major drug dealer.
Nicholas Whitcombe, from Liverpool, previously made headlines when he refused to close his Body Tech Fitness gym during lockdown, hitting out at the government for its restrictions.
At the time, he was fined as a result of his refusal to adhere to the rules.
However, a court has now convicted him for working with Anthony Andrew Dryden, of Jersey, of importing £54,000 ($73,000) worth of cannabis onto the island.
The conviction follows an investigation that uncovered the fact that Whitcombe and Dryden had been working together since 2018.
Their operation involved importing vast amounts of cannabis onto the island and sending the profits back through the post.
A joint operation involving Jersey Customs and Immigration Service and Merseyside Police led to the arrest of both men, with Whitcombe being taken to Jersey.
It was there that he was charged alongside Dryden at the Royal Court.
Investigators discovered that Whitcombe was in charge of sourcing the drugs and organising the transportation from England to Jersey.
Dryden would then pick the packages up and collect the cash after they were sold, sending it back to Whitcombe.
According to reports, 3.1kg of cannabis was imported into Jersey and three exports of cash were sent out, totalling £16,750, between June and September 2018.
In March 2019, Dryden imported between 500g to 1kg of cannabis after Whitcombe had helped him to set up the new supply line.
Three months later, Dryden was then involved in importing 451.69g of cannabis resin onto the island and in July, he was arrested and his mobile phone was seized by police.
Text messages found on the phone revealed how the pair's operation was run.
One message from Whitcombe read: "You get to clean your money and you’ll slowly get better at it and eventually it’ll be your legit business."
In July 2021, both men were arrested and this week, they were sentenced to three years and six months each in prison for their part in drug trafficking operation.
Summing up, Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae described it as a 'serious case'.
He said: "You are both 31-years-old, neither of you are young men… You are both, in the opinion of this court, professional drug dealers and certainly were at the time of these offences."
Rhiannon Small, Senior Manager at Jersey's Customs and Immigration Service (JCIS), said it was a huge success in putting an end to a major drug supply.
She: "The custodial sentences handed down by the Royal Court reflect the serious nature of drug trafficking and money laundering into our island.
"The detection and prevention of such offences remain a priority for JCIS."
Featured Image Credit: States of Jersey Police
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