It has been revealed that the leader of a Birmingham drugs gang who was convicted of importing £135million worth of cocaine, heroin, and ketamine into the UK, is the son of Staffordshire’s former deputy police commissioner. Jonathan Arnold’s criminal empire allowed him to live a lavish lifestyle, including trips to Dubai, owning a Ferrari, and wearing a Rolex.
Interestingly, Jonathan’s mother, Sue Arnold, served on the opposite side of the law as part of Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner team, BirminghamLive revealed.
She held the position of deputy between 2012 and 2021, responsible for holding the county’s police force accountable.
Detectives involved in the case described Jonathan Arnold as a major player in organised crime rather than a petty criminal.
He operated a drug smuggling operation, bringing drugs from Colombia through European ports.
His criminal network spanned from Lichfield and Tamworth to the Black Country.
Despite pretending to run a furniture removal company, Jonathan was orchestrating the import and distribution of drugs worth £135million, including cocaine, heroin, and ketamine, within Birmingham and beyond.
He recently pleaded guilty to four charges of drug conspiracy and is currently awaiting sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court.
The revelation of Jonathan’s family connections to the police has come to light.
Sue Arnold served as the deputy to the elected Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis for almost ten years.
The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner and their team is to hold the Chief Constable and other senior officers accountable for their actions and scrutinise their performance in tackling crime and serving the public.
Sue Arnold, originally from Walsall and residing near Tamworth, also attempted to become a Member of Parliament in 2015, running as a Conservative candidate in Walsall South.
However, she lost to Valerie Vaz of the Labour Party by a margin of 6,000 votes.
There is no suggestion that she had any knowledge of her son’s criminal activities, and she declined to comment when contacted by BirminghamLive.
Det Ch Supt Jenny Skyrme, head of the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “As the head of the crime group, Jonathan Arnold enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, driving luxury cars and enjoying trips to Dubai.
“The reality was that he was arranging tens of millions of pounds worth of drugs to be imported into the UK from Europe and South America, which would have gone on to cause untold misery and significant harm to communities.”
On her reappointment as deputy PCC in 2016, her boss Mr Ellis was gushing with praise for her, saying: “Sue has brought real drive to her role over the past three and a half years and a new approach to all of the areas I have asked her to lead on.
“She has led the development of the Police Cadets on my behalf which has enhanced the lives of many young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”