The British version of 'El Chapo' who has been running a nationwide drug ring all over and across the UK has been thrown in jail this week. Ian Shepherd, 44, was handed a prison sentence of 25 years by the Manchester Crown Court for his illegal dealings involving the commercial sale of cocaine and heroin across Great Britain. 

A man known by law enforcement to have run a nationwide drug ring all over and across the UK has been thrown in jail this week. Shepherd was handed a prison sentence of 25 years by the Manchester Crown Court for his illegal dealings involving the commercial sale of cocaine and heroin across Great Britain. 

According to The Sun, Shepherd, who also is also nicknamed “El Shepo,” after Mexican drug lord El Chapo was the head of an organized crime group based in Kirkby, Merseyside. He ran his network of dealers and criminals from the back of his $20,000 Citreon Berlingo van as he arranged for transactions, meet-ups, and exchanges in several locations like Manchester, Trafford, Newcastle, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Salford Quays, London, and Glasgow. 

In 2018, Shepherd put his van up for sale which was purchased by an undercover cop. Authorities stripped the van and discovered how the British drug kingpin had been using a rear compartment of the vehicle to hide large quantities of illegal drugs. The crafty space was only accessible with the use of an adapted wheel trim removal tool. 

Law enforcement eventually busted El Shepo in May 2019 when they searched his mother-in-law’s house and found cocaine along with a firearm bearing a match of his DNA. Shepherd, who is a father of three children admitted getting into organized crime as a means to provide a home for his family. 

Authorities were also able to track Shepherd’s drug ring operations as he worked in cahoots with 37-year-old John Burkquest who was jailed in August last year. He is currently serving a 12-year sentence. Burkquest admitted being involved as a runner under orders from his lifelong friend Shepherd.

Shepherd had initially denied any conspiracy to supply drugs, as well as explosives and gun offenses. However, he later changed his plea two weeks before his trial. The defense lawyer for Sheperd, Peter Hunter, said his client was intent on apologizing for his crime and is sincere at showing his remorse. “He wants there to be no excuses and he doesn’t want to blame others, but he knows he’s made a huge, huge mistake," the attorney added. 

Eventually, Shepherd pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A substance as well as three counts of possessing a prohibited firearm and explosives.

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