Dog breeder hid cocaine and heroin in secret space in his dog van

A drug dealer dog breeder had set up a special space under the kennels of his van to store cocaine and heroin.

Michael Morson used his business as a cover while he was involved in a massive scheme that saw him detain a total of 10 kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of heroin before being brought to justice.

Police found Morson with £ 25,000 in cash, two Rolex watches, designer clothes and 25kg of cannabis when they arrested him last year.

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A Liverpool Crown Court judge told him and Kevin Baker, who also sells cannabis, that they were involved in trafficking “on an almost industrial scale”.

The pair were just two of dozens of criminals discovered when the EncroChat network, used by criminals across Europe and once considered impenetrable, was hacked by investigators.

Morson used the username “Luckysea” to conceal his identity while he was part of a large-scale drug trafficking operation.

Ryan Rothwell, prosecutor, said the van used by the 32-year-old in his legitimate business was adapted to create a special storage compartment used to transport drugs across the region.

The compartment was placed under the kennels used for the transport of dogs.

The court heard Baker, who was convicted of the lesser charge of conspiracy to supply cannabis in a trial last year, used the username “sun-viking”.

He sometimes used his mother’s house as a drop-off point for drugs which he couriered, later transporting them to Stafford.

Posts found on the EncroChat network saw him at one point suggesting he had access to up to 58 kilograms of cannabis.

Lawyers for the two men said each was more than aware they faced long sentences.

Matthew Buckland, defending Morson, said his time behind bars meant he would miss much of the early childhood of his youngest child, who was only three weeks old at the time of his arrest.

He added that since his imprisonment Morson had become a valued member of the kitchen team and hoped for a life change upon his release.



Kevin Baker was convicted of conspiracy to supply cannabis

Ian Whitehurst, who defends Baker, said he was involved in the vast scheme for a relatively short period in early 2020, just before the EncroChat network hack.

He said it would be Baker’s first time in custody.

Judge Recorder Jon Close, QC, said the couple were involved in “sophisticated, serious and organized drug trafficking on an almost industrial scale.”

Speaking to Morson, Recorder Close said: “The pickup truck you used for dog breeding had been professionally adapted to create medicine storage under the kennels.”

Morson, of Park Road North, Birkenhead, was jailed for a total of eight years and seven months after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

Baker, of Montgomery Road, Huyton, was jailed for four years after being convicted of conspiring to supply cannabis after a trial last year.

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