Wanted £26m drugs conspiracy suspect may have left UK

A man wanted in connection with a £26m drug ring may have left the country, police have said.

Joshua Avis, 38, is charged with conspiracy to import and distribute class A drugs.

Greater Manchester Police said a manhunt was under way to trace Avis, of Bancroft Road, Woolton.

Former Liverpool football apprentice Jamie Cassidy was jailed for more than 13 years for his role in the drugs conspiracy.

Issuing an appeal on BBC Crimewatch, police said Avis also uses the names Josh Spring, Josh Porter and John Peverall.

They said Avis, who has links across the north-west England, may have left the country.

Cassidy, 46, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday alongside his brother Jonathan Cassidy, 50, who played a leading role importing and dealing cocaine across England.

The younger Cassidy brother had played alongside Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher in Liverpool FC’s youth team before injuries “wrecked his career”.

The gang’s operation was said to be worth about £26m, with a third man, Nasar Ahmed, 51, was also sentenced for his role in it.

Jonathan Cassidy and Ahmed were both jailed for 21 years and nine months.

The court heard how Cassidy had been drawn in to crime by his older brother Jonathan, who likened himself to Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, or El Chapo, one of the world’s most infamous traffickers.

Drugs were imported from Holland and used to supply users in north-west England, Birmingham and Leeds.

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Written by T. Miller

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