Published: 15:47, 17 April 2019
| Updated: 17:54, 17 April 2019
A teenager, whose hopes of playing for QPR were wrecked by an ankle injury, has now shelved another dream... to become a football coach.
After quitting the London club, Shaquille Gordon became a middle man for a drugs gang targeting Maidstone.
But the 19-year-old was caught by Kent police’s anti-drugs operation, codenamed "Raptor"... and has now been locked up for five years.
Gordon, who lived on state hand-outs, was spotted brandishing a Rolex Watch, driving a BMW and trading in shares online.
His barrister told Maidstone Crown Court that the teenager was the gang’s “receptionist and delivery man” bringing drugs into the town.
Jack Jennett said Gordon was given a mobile phone and expected to take calls from people wanting heroin and crack cocaine.
He then had to ensure “runners” took the Class A drugs to the users.
Mr Jennett claimed the teenager was paid just £50 each day for his role – but Judge Adele Williams told him: “I don’t accept that.”
Prosecutor Robin Griffiths said police officers had been approached by a man in St Peters Street in Maidstone and went with him to a flat at Pevensey Court where cannabis was being used.
"You come from a respectable family... it is a tragedy that you should have involved yourself in criminality of this seriousness" - Judge Adele Williams
“Officers engaged in Operation Raptor, which was set up to tackle County Lines, later went to a flat in Farleigh Court in Farleigh Lane.
“They had concerns about a woman there, a known drug addict and who in the past was a victim of cuckooing.
"They found the woman and four men, including a 15 year old, two local drug addicts and two others from London.”
On March 7 a police officer spotted a Vauxhall from London Road into Talbot Road, which was driven by Gordon. He was later arrested in Stowmarket.
Mr Jennett said Gordon, who is a father of a young child, had played for QPR’s youth team until he had to quit because of an ankle injury when he was 17.
“His long term hope is now a football coach.”
He added that the Rolex was a fake watch bought for £50, the BMW belonged to his partner and the trading accounts found on computer were practice accounts and not real ones..
“He wasn’t living a lavish lifestyle. The £780 in cash found in his pocket belonged to his partner.
Judge Williams sent Gordon to a Youth Offender’s Institute for five years, telling him: “The supplying of Class A drugs is a great mischief in our society today.”
She added: “You were bringing the drugs to Maidstone and being paid for this activity.
“You come from a respectable family. It is a tragedy that you should have involved yourself in criminality of this seriousness.”
Gordon, who admitted two charges of supplying heroin and cocaine, will now face a financial investigation into his drug dealing activities under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
More by this authorPaul Hooper