AS A RAPPER, Nahkell Gordon flaunted his luxury lifestyle in YouTube videos badged “snow season”. Around his neck, the 32-year-old wore a chain with the initials “ST” for snow team.

Yesterday, it was a different kind of powder launching the one-time Old Town resident into the limelight as he was jailed for nine years for conspiring to supply cocaine in Swindon.

Gordon was one of three men jailed for their part in the plot to smuggle a kilogramme block of the class A drug down the M4. Sold on the street, the drugs would have been worth an estimated £200,000.

Marcus Mawire, 24, and Dean Mulholland, 28, each received eight-and-a-half year jail stretches.

But last night, at least one member of the drugs conspiracy remained at large. The shadowy underworld boss, known only as 880 after the final three digits of his mobile phone number, has never been identified.

It is suspected that this man was the one directing the deal from afar. His number, rarely seen in call logs presented in the trial, was shown calling “underlings” Mawire and Mulholland in a conference call several hours after the cocaine block was seized by police.

Marcus “Cas” Mawire and Dean Mulholland were said to have organised the Swindon part of the operation, roping in Brazilian-born taxi driver Edson Monteiro de Resende to drive to London on the night of Thursday, September 7, to pick up the cocaine and hand over almost £2,000 cash to Harry Byart, a rapper-turned-producer and at that time dating Little Mix star Jesy Nelson.

Earlier that day, Mulholland had been tracked driving round Swindon by undercover police officers and making calls to Mawire and Gordon.

Gordon, who had met Mawire and Gordon through his friend’s Caribbean restaurant in Swindon, was on the road to Manchester - said to be collecting luxury Mercedes cars for his hire firm. Judge Michael Longman yesterday said it was “very likely” that company was a front through which to launder cash.

Mawire was said by police to have left his home in Hunters Grove, Ferndale, with a black holdall and getting in to de Resende’s nine-seater Ford Tourneo minicab. As it turned into Ferndale Road, an occupant of the vehicle was claimed to have said: “You asked to go to London, didn’t you?” De Resende drove Mawire to a laundrette on Manchester Road.

Later, the taxi driver was seen at a Swindon tennis centre before returning home to Eldene. After 6pm he was spotted leaving his home, now wearing smart trousers. He dropped off his partner at Morrisons, filled up his taxi with fuel and by 6.40pm was on the M4 headed towards London.

Giving evidence, de Resende claimed Mawire had asked him to drive to London to pick up medication for his cancer-stricken aunt. The driver was to hand over cash for the medication to Mawire’s mother.

By 8.30pm, de Resende was in Tottenham Lane, north London. He stopped and got out of his taxi to relieve himself. Back in the cab, he was said to have been looking constantly at his phone. He was called by Mawire at 8.42pm, driving away shortly after.

At around 9.20pm he stopped in Edgeworth Crescent, Hendon. An undercover police officer claimed to have seen the silhouettes of two men walking to the car. De Resende himself told the court it was only one man, who left a package on the car seat and ordered the driver not to touch it.

Mawire was said to have sent de Resende to Waltham Abbey. At around 10.25pm, as de Resende was parked up, a car driven by Byart pulled into the car park. Police claimed the windows had been rolled down and an envelope – said to have contained almost £2,000 – passed from de Resende to Byart.

The two men told the court differently, with Byart getting into the taxi. De Resende had asked if Byart wanted to count the cash, but the producer said he trusted the driver. The cash was repayment of a debt owed to Byart by Gordon for work the producer had done on his latest album.

The cabbie was on the M4 by 11.10pm. His suspicions were aroused when Mawire contacted him, asking him to take the Reading exit rather than the Swindon one.

Undercover officers following the Ford Tourneo saw it pull abruptly into the hard shoulder. De Resende got out to check the bagged package. Recognising it as cocaine, the driver was said to have panicked. “I knew Cas had used me to collect drugs by sending me to London,” he told the court.

Fearing what might happen to his three children if he were to call the police, de Resende carried on to Swindon.

But rather than go to an address in Penhill as directed by Mawire and Mulholland, de Resende headed to his client’s Hunters Grove home. It was there he was stopped by uniformed officers and the cocaine was seized.

The following day, Mulholland was said to have been seen driving near de Resende’s home in Eldene. Mawire made a number of attempts to contact de Resende by telephone.

Nahkell Gordon, 32, formerly of Eastwood Close, London, Harry Byart, 25, of Merlin Close, Waltham Abbey, Marcus Mawire, 24, of Milton Road, Sittingbourne, Edson Monteiro de Resende, 34, now of Pasteur Drive, Swindon, and Dean Mulholland, 28, of Limes Avenue, Swindon, had all denied conspiracy to supply cocaine.