Stack of cash seized after Redcar man using 'Ghostbudders' alias caught importing drugs from US

Steven Munsey, from Redcar, was jailed for importing drugs. Credit: North East Regional Organised Crime Unit

A man has been jailed after international packages from the US were intercepted and found to contain drug products.

The cross-agency investigation into Steven Munsey started after the packages, which contained various cannabis products hidden in clothing and cosmetic items, were intercepted from the US on 19 February 2020.

Officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU), with the support of Cleveland Police neighbourhood teams, NCA and Border Force, carried out an extensive operation to target Munsey and seize any illicit cash and drugs from his illegal operation.

As the evidence began to build so did the number of intercepted packages, some to Munsey’s home address, and some to other properties under other names linked to him.

Some of the drugs seized as part of the operation. Credit: North East Regional Organised Crime Unit

Officers searched properties in Redcar on 30 June 2020, finding £6,000 in cash, mobile phones, drug paraphernalia and a large quantity of cannabis products in various forms.

Munsey was charged with two counts of importation/exportation offences, possession of Class A with intent to supply and four other possession charges.

Further activity was also carried out by the NEROCU Cyber and Dark Web teams to build the case against Munsey.

Evidence showed the 32-year-old had been using the name ‘Ghostbudders’ to import and sell illegal drugs and using cryptocurrency to try and hide his illicit funds.

He pleaded guilty to all charges at an appearance at Teesside Crown Court on 15 March.

On Thursday 25 May, Munsey was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.

Speaking after the sentencing, NEROCU Sgt Neil Lovat, said: “This has been a huge win for partnership working. It is a prime example of the lengths we will go with partners to protect the region from harmful organised crime and illicit drug supply.

“From the moment these drugs tried to enter our country we were aware and tracking them, building our case, and ensuring that those responsible would have their day in court."

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