Wallasey drugs boss has £400k confiscated

A drugs boss who was jailed for 19 years after boasting he could make £30k a week adulterating cocaine has been forced to hand over assets totalling almost £400,000.

Richard Weild, 40, was sentenced to 19 years and six months last March after an investigation by the specialist Merseyside Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) – a unit comprising officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Merseyside Police.

Weild, of Wallasey, was known for his expertise in bulking out multi-kilo deals of cocaine with ‘brand’ labels stamped into individual blocks.

Weild operated on the encrypted communications platform EncroChat under the name Blacklable.

He had more than 50 criminal contacts in his network, including some overseas, and there was evidence he supplied crime groups – including County Lines drugs gangs – across the North West and as far afield as Plymouth and Southampton.

His EncroChat messages indicated that some of these groups utilised Highways Maintenance vehicles and removals trucks as a disguise to move on the roads during lockdown restrictions.

EncroChat was dismantled in 2020, and the National Crime Agency led Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement’s response to the takedown.

Weild owned the Gas Works motor company in Wavertree, Liverpool, and masqueraded under the guise of a legitimate businessman.

He pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court in January 2022 to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin, MDMA, 2-CB, cannabis and transferring criminal property but his sentencing was delayed for more than a year after he sacked five different defence barristers.

Now, after a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation, Weild will lose his current available assets of £379,016 after a confiscation order was granted at Liverpool Crown Court.

These assets include two properties in Wallasey and Wavertree, 12 vehicles and £70,000 worth of designer clothes and watches.

The court determined that Weild’s total criminal benefit was £3,969,927.

NCA senior manager Ian Thomas said, “Richard Weild was a crucial player in the drugs trade and helped crime groups to bolster their profits by bulking cocaine.

“The OCP have put Weild where he belongs. But money is the ultimate driving factor for offenders like Weild so we have gone after his assets to ensure he is punished in every appropriate way.

“Offenders who traffick and peddle drugs around the UK do not care in the slightest about the violence they bring to our communities, they do not care about the lives that are destroyed through addiction.

“The NCA and Merseyside Police will continue employing every possible tactic to hurt offenders who pose such a threat to the public.”

Weild’s EncroChat phone contained nearly 20,000 messages. Examples of him talking about how much money he made include:

“If i carry on making tops [cocaine] for people an get this weed parcel again I’ll have life changing money”.

“I looking at the bigger pic mate am getting along great the money coming in thick an fast an not putting myself out there got a easy life”.

“I am happy cracking on I can make 30k a week sometimes no hassle”.

“‘I have made so much money of this ye know”.

“been making 4 to 5 EV week 7500 cash. For one group … I make em for a good few people mate I can get you any stamp you need”.

“lost a very very good punter this week … I had a good run about 4-5 yrs out of him”.

Image: Merseyside Police/Richard Weild

Why not follow birkenhead.news on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to news@birkenhead.news