Ex-Liverpool footballer faces jail after police smash £6m drugs ring

Liverpool footballer who came through ranks with Steven Gerard and Jamie Carragher and scored at Anfield faces jail after police smash £6m drugs ring

  • Layton Maxwell, 41, has admitted conspiracy to supply the Class A drug cocaine
  • Ex-footballer arrested as part of UK-wide police probe called Operation Venetic
  • Operation is among biggest on record and saw seizure of £8m in cash and drugs
  • Maxwell, who scored on Anfield debut, saw career slump and left sport in 2010
  • He was bailed to return to Cardiff Crown Court in July for a further hearing to appear with other defendants who were arrested in the same police operation

A former Liverpool footballer is facing jail for being caught in a £6million cocaine crime gang after quitting the professional game.

Midfielder Layton Maxwell scored on his debut at Anfield – but turned drug-dealer after his career slumped as he slipped down the leagues.

The 41-year-old was arrested as part of a UK-wide investigation into organised crime which saw millions of pounds worth of drugs and cash seized.

Midfielder Maxwell, who also played for Cardiff City and Swansea City, came through the ranks at Anfield with England stars Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

Former Liverpool footballer Layton Maxwell (pictured outside Cardiff Crown Court) is facing prison after being caught in a £6m cocaine crime gang after quitting the professional game

He was highly rated and scored a goal on his senior debut at the famous Kop in a League Cup game against Hull in 1999.

However, that proved to be Maxwell’s only appearance for the Reds and he was loaned to Stockport County for the rest of the season before eventually being transferred to Cardiff City. 

The disgraced former star was arrested last year in an investigation linked to a National Crime Agency probe known as Operation Venetic.

Raids were carried out after officers busted open an encrypted messaging service that had been used by gang leaders.

Maxwell was one of dozens of suspects held – and appeared in Cardiff Crown Court to admit conspiracy to supply the Class A drug cocaine.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thorne, said the raids in south Wales alone resulted in ‘two tonnes of drugs and millions of pounds in cash recovered.’

Pictured: Maxwell, who came up through the ranks with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, has admitted one count of conspiracy to supply the class A drug cocaine at court today

He added: ‘Officers have seized 60kgs of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin with an estimated street value of £6,000,000. In addition more than £2.5 million in cash has also been seized.

‘Illegal drugs have no place in our society and we will continue to work together to target those whose criminal activities blight the lives of the communities of southern Wales.

‘We are committed to disrupting and dismantling organised crime groups, bringing people before the courts and removing drugs from our streets.’

Maxwell, of Rhiwbina, Cardiff, wore a dark suit with a black shirt and red tie to the short hearing where he pleaded guilty to the charge.

He was bailed to return to court in July for a further hearing to appear with other defendants arrested in the same probe.

After leaving Swansea City, Maxwell dropped through the divisions before seeing out his career in the League of Wales including spells at Bangor City and Caernarfon.

When he retired from football he became an engineer with Vodafone and also took charge of Cardiff Draconians in Welsh football’s third tier but stepped down in December due to increased work commitments.

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