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The ‘El Chapo of the Cotswolds’? Brit father, 49, who ‘ran global £5m drugs racket from small market town’ faces 120 years in US jail if guilty of money-laundering and trafficking (as he bullishly tells prosecutors trying to extradite him: ‘Bring it on’)


A British father accused of running a £5m drugs racket from a picturesque market town in the Cotswolds faces 120 years in an American prison.

Matthew Grimm, a keen member of the cycling club in historic Chipping Sodbury, is fighting extradition to the US over five counts of trafficking and one of money laundering.

But the bullish 49-year-old – alleged to have shipped substances across the Atlantic including psychoactive bath salts – has told prosecutors in Florida to ‘bring it on.’

Grimm, dubbed the ‘El Chapo of the Cotswolds’, was detained by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers last November after the US issued a warrant for his arrest.

The drugs are said to have been ferried from the Netherlands to US-based customers via an online portal called Smokey’s Chem Site, which was allegedly run from as early as 2012, before an undercover operation shut it down.

Matthew Grimm, a keen member of the cycling club in historic Chipping Sodbury, is fighting extradition to the US over five counts of trafficking and one of money laundering

Matthew Grimm, a keen member of the cycling club in historic Chipping Sodbury, is fighting extradition to the US over five counts of trafficking and one of money laundering

Chipping Sodbury, the market town in Gloucestershire where Grimm regularly cycles

Chipping Sodbury, the market town in Gloucestershire where Grimm regularly cycles

Prosecutors in the US – where former Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is serving life in jail – last year froze Grimm’s bank account, which they said received £5.2m in Bitcoin payments from customers.

The suspect, who told a court he relies on cycling to ‘clear his head’ as he fights the case, became the first person targeted by President Biden’s Executive Order 14059.

This aims to combat fentanyl and other synthetic drugs which have been blamed for hundreds of death in the States.

Police in the UK and the Netherlands helped the US Treasury to track Grimm and two Dutch nationals in a separate case, allegedly over the sale of illicit drugs purchased online and via dark net marketplaces.

As he arrived to answer bail this week, Grimm told the Sunday Mirror: ‘Let them bring it on. I’m 49 now, so how could I serve that long? 

‘These are just allegations, so I don’t want to say anything.’

Grimm’s lawyer said in court papers that his client denies wrongdoing and fears extradition would distance him from his two children, nine and 12, who live with his ex.

A district judge rejected the pleas, however, and sent the case to Home Secretary Suella Braverman to approve. A final decision will be made in December.

A National Crime Agency spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We do not comment on ongoing investigations or individuals who may or may not be subject to investigation.’ 



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