RAPPER Nines has been jailed for two years after admitting he plotted to import £280k of cannabis into the UK from Poland and Spain.

The rapper, 31, whose real name is Courtney Freckleton, pleaded guilty in August to drugs and money laundering charges.

He was today sentenced to two years at Harrow Crown Court following his arrest in June. 

Nines, who last year topped the UK album chart with his third studio release Crabs In A Bucket, admitted conspiracy to import the Class B drug cannabis into the UK from Poland and Spain and conspiracy to transfer criminal cash between March 10 and July 3 last year.

The plot involved one successful importation and a second attempted one, with the total amount of cannabis said to be 28kg, the court heard.

Harrow Crown Court also heard that the money laundering charge related to a £98,000 debt as well as the value of the drugs.

He denied the charges of conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine, which were later dropped by the CPS and no further action was taken on them.

Today the court heard that Freckleton was a "senior partner" in the enterprise, with associates referring to him as "Big Boss" in messages.

Nines was arrested after police raids across London and Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, in an operation understood to have stemmed from the infiltration of encrypted messaging service Encrochat.

The network, which was used by thousands of criminals internationally, was brought down by law enforcement last year after being hacked by French investigators.

In mitigation, the defence said Freckleton was "deeply ashamed" at having let people down and claimed he has a "great heart" as evidence by his extensive community work in Brent and across London with young people.

The judge acknowledged that his character references "were some of the best I've ever read".

Nines was sentenced today alongside co-conspirator and business partner, Jason Thompson, 35, of Barnet, north London.

Thompson pleaded guilty to the same charges as Nines, a dad-of-two, and was jailed for 28 months for his part in the plot.

The rapper, originally from Harlesden, North-West London, was named best hip hop act at last year's Mobo Awards.

His chart-topping third album, which beat metal titans Metallica to the top spot on its release, secured album of the year, seeing off competition from Stormzy, J Hus, Lianne La Havas and Mahalia.

Prior to his success, Freckleton had a difficult childhood, suffering the horrific trauma of his brother being murdered.

Nines was previously been jailed for 18 months for possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

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