Alleged Liverpool drug boss Robert Gerrard (photo above) turned himself in to authorities yesterday after spending three years on the run. The 53-year-old gangster said the pressure of being a wanted man had become too much.
Gerrard had made arrangements via his lawyer to meet with officers of the National Crime Agency at Central Park Police Station in Manchester. There, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine. Authorities believe he is the leader of a £60 million-pound drug ring.
As the second cousin of England’s star footballer Steven Gerrard, “Uncle” Robert had a lot more difficulty staying out of the limelight than your average gangster. The British tabloids love to shed some light on the black sheep who hovers around a famous football player, especially when that black sheep is a drug boss on the run from authorities.
Having had enough with its criminals fleeing from justice by seeking refuge in other parts of Europe, British authorities kicked off several international Most Wanted campaigns to turn up the heat.
As part of one such campaign, Operation Return in the Netherlands, Gerrard’s mugshot appeared in the news both in Great Britain and overseas. The National Crime Agency (NCA) appealed for help to find him following a raid in October 2013 on a café in the city of Rotterdam used as a front for a global operations center for international drug traffickers.
Café de Ketel, which could only be entered via a buzzer system and was strictly for known faces, provided a meeting place where gangsters negotiated with cartel members and arranged the financing and transportation of drugs. Authorities believe Gerrard, who could not be located at the time of the raid, used the café as part of a plot to import large quantities of cocaine into the United Kingdom.
“Robert Gerrard handing himself in shows the impact we are having with our Most Wanted campaigns,” Greg McKenna, Regional Head of Investigations for the NCA said. “We don’t know at this stage how long Gerrard has been back in the United Kingdom for, but he told our officers that the pressure of being on the run had got too much for him. The fugitives on our most wanted list really do have nowhere to hide. I would urge any of the remaining ones to take note – save yourself the trouble and hand yourself in because we will never stop hunting you and you will face justice.”
Gerrard appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon and was remanded in custody until his next hearing at Manchester Crown Court on November 23.
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