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UPDATE (Oct 1): Nines has been jailed for two years for plotting to import 28kg of cannabis—worth £280,000—into the UK from Poland and Spain. 

The chart-invading rapper, real name Courtney Freckleton, 31, and his friend Jason Thompson, 35, were both sentenced to 28 months in prison.

The court heard that Freckleton and Thompson had been involved in one successful bid to import cannabis into the country, while another attempt had also been made. The pair pleaded guilty to drugs and money laundering charges back in August.

“What a waste of all of that talent, to be sat in Wormwood Scrubs,” said Harrow Crown Court judge, Rosa Dean.

Original story below.

British rap star Nines has pleaded guilty to drugs and money laundering charges. 

The court deduced that the 31-year-old rapper, born Courtney Freckleton, and Jason Thompson, 35, had been involved in a successful cannabis import with further attempts made. Cannabis is currently a Class B drug in the UK, which can warrant up to a 14-year sentence or an unlimited fine for supply, production and importation. 

Freckleton and Thompson were arrested back in June after various police raids across London, Borehamwood and Hertfordshire. These police raids stemmed from the infiltration of encrypted messaging service Encrochat last year by French investigators. The dissection of Encrochat gave the police leads into various illicit enterprises across Europe.

In court, the pair confessed to importing the Class B drug into the UK from Poland and Spain, and conspiracy to transfer criminal cash between March 10 and July 3 last year. Prosecutor Genevieve Reed said that the plot involved 28kg of cannabis, its subsequent street-level value and a money laundering operation just £2k shy of £100,000. 

Last year, Nines released a No. 1 album in Crabs In A Bucket. He was also crowned Best Hip Hop Act at the 2020 MOBO Awards.