A DRUGS lord who acted as a 'first lieutenant' in a multi-million pound drugs racket has pleaded guilty.

Mark Rumble appeared at Oxford Crown Court this morning facing seven counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to supply drugs.

The 31-year-old of no fixed abode was brought to court from Thailand where a court judge said he had been living 'the high life.'

On his arrival at HMP Bullingdon he was at the heart of a coronavirus scare at the prison, and went on to test negative for the disease.

This morning he pleaded guilty to five of the seven counts he faced, pleas which the Crown Prosecution Service said it would accept.

Presiding Judge Peter Ross said Rumble's role in the drugs plot was as the 'first lieutenant.'

He adjourned the case for sentencing to a date to be confirmed, expected to take place next month.

The guilty pleas to conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs as well as possession with intent to supply drugs comes after a total of 14 gang members were convicted as part of Operation Samba.

10 men were jailed for a total of 92 years for their parts in the multiple drug-dealing conspiracies, selling to people in Swindon, Oxford, Reading and Didcot after a case at the same court in 2015.

Neil Wadley was the violent leader of the criminal gang centred around the Didcot area that sold cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and the party drug MDMA.

Jailing Wadley for 17 years in January 2016, Judge Peter Ross branded him a professional criminal who used the drugs money to build a property empire.

He said: “You were prepared to profit from an evil trade.

“You were prepared to peddle drugs knowing they killed, knowing they drive crime, knowing they destroy lives.

"You have made a great deal of money out of your criminal activities."

Rumble admitted today two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, two counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs and one of possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

The offences took place in 2014 and 2015.

He was remanded in custody to await his sentencing.