A notorious drugs baron with links to Manchester will be freed from prison next year.
Curtis Warren, from Liverpool, is to be released after spending 14 years in jail.
Warren, 58 – who built up a reputed £300m fortune – is due to be automatically released next year. He will not have to go before the Parole Board because he is not serving a life sentence.
by the 1980s and 1990s, ‘Cocky’ Warren, as he became known, graduated from running nightclub doors, to armed robbery and then international drug trafficking.
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In the 1990s, as a Toxteth drug dealer, Warren included a number of veteran criminals from Manchester in his operation.
Warren was comfortable working with Mancunians – reserving most of his antipathy for competitor crooks from L8.
Two Manchester men were jailed along with Warren in 1997.
Warren got 12 years for that plot – having masterminded the £125million drugs shipment from the Netherlands into the UK.
Then, while he was serving time in the Nieuw Vosseveld maximum security jail in the Netherlands, Warren was attacked by Turkish prisoner Cemal Guclu, a convicted killer.
Warren kicked his attacker in the head – killing him in self-defence – and got a further four years’ jail.
The gangster was released in the summer of 2007 and sent back to Liverpool.
But by 2009 he had been jailed for another 13 years over a plot to smuggle £1m of cannabis into Jersey.
Then, following that conviction, he got another ten years – after failing to pay a £198million confiscation order, one of the largest ever made in Europe.
He has spent almost all of the last 25 years in jail.
Warren is on a list published by the NCA earlier this year of individuals involved in organised crime who have been issued with serious crime prevention orders.
In his case they include restrictions for five years after his release on his ability to use cars, character and phones, travel oversea, borrow money, make transfers, keep up trusts or shares and use foreign or virtual money.
He will not be allowed any assets worth more than £1,000 despite allegedly having £198million squirrelled away.
Alison Abbott, Head of Lifetime Management at the National Crime Agency, said: “Many career criminals regard prison as an interruption which rarely marks the end of their involvement in organised crime. This is why the NCA has a policy of Lifetime Management.
“by the NCA’s Lifetime Management programme we use Serious Crime Prevention Orders, Travel Restriction Orders and Financial Reporting Orders, as an additional inner of prevention.
“They ensure we firmly have these individuals on our radar, especially after prison, and anything that indicates that they’re slipping into old ways can be detected early on.”
If he breaks the conditions Warren can be sent back to prison.
He is currently understood to be in HMP Long Lartin, a category A jail in Worcestershire, and is expected to be moved to a lower category prison in the months before his release date next November.
Warren hit the headlines again last year when prison officer Stephanie Smithwhite was jailed for two years at Durham Crown Court after she had a sexual relationship with Warren behind bars.
Smithwhite, who a court heard cut a hole in her uniform trousers for sex with Warren, admitted two counts of misconduct in public office.
She was said to be ‘infatuated’ with him, having a tattoo of his name next to a rose.
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