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Taxi driver delivered food to elderly while transporting heroin for EncroChat drug gang in Liverpool


A taxi driver who delivered food to the elderly during lockdown used his job as cover to transport huge quantities of drugs.

Police seized nearly £20,000 of designer goods from Joseph Ellis' home in North Dingle in Kirkdale in October 2021.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Tuesday, that the 38-year-old "operated as a trusted courier for an organised crime group", taking his orders over Encrochat, the encrypted communications platform.

Messages revealed that he had transported at least 15kg of cocaine, 3kg of heroin and 2kg of cannabis.

This secret life of heroin and cocaine sat in contrast with the man who cooked meals for elderly residents, food that he delivered to their doors.

The court was told that Ellis, who is also known as Joseph McNabb, is now working as a mentor to other inmates in prison.He admitted conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis. Appearing via video link to HMP Altcourse, Judge David Aubrey KC jailed him for nine years.

Sentencing, the judge said: "You thought you were invincible and protected by that phone in your hands, but that has proved to be your downfall.

"As a result of painstaking and meticulous work by a number of agencies, there was to be no hiding place for what you were involved in.

"You were an important cage in a sophisticated network, using your taxi as cover to collect and deliver multi kilo amounts of class A drugs during the first lockdown.

"You believed you could travel unimpeded.

"Ironically, you were transporting class A drugs which cause misery and degradation while supplying food to the elderly - those most vulnerable and isolated - during lockdown.

"You are described in references as a generous, thoughtful, caring individual.

"Those are words frequently seen in references and often have little substances and can often be hollow words. In your case, I find otherwise.

"It is hoped when you are released you will continue your good work in the community."


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