Manchester news The fatal mistakes that brought down these drug kingpins Manchester united news
PremierLeague-News.Com - The hacking of the phone service has brought many criminals to the dock.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Selfies, pictures of cheese, a mural of the UFC star Conor McGregor, and the sharing of personal information. These are just some of the ways that some major criminals have been brought to justice by police in recent times. EncroChat phones, which cost around £1,200 for a three month contact, were thought to be 'unhackable' by detectives and were almost exclusively used by criminals, the National Crime Agency (NCA) says. But, the hacking of this network has since been described as the biggest boost to policing against organised crime in decades, the LiverpoolECHO reports. French police first obtained a court order to infiltrate its networks in January 2020, after other police services spent years investigating the network. This led to a goldmine of intelligence and evidence for European crime fighters. READ MORE:The neighbourhood where residents live in fear of two 'vicious' dogs Operation Venetic was launched after this in the UK by the NCA, which has since resulted in the prosecution of hundreds of criminals. These investigations revealed some eye opening mistakes by criminals who appeared to let their guard down by placing their trust completely in these devices. Conor McGregor on the wall Ryan Palin had clearly been making crime pay for some time when his operation was brought crashing down on Thursday, December 9 last year. His expensive home in Caldy, Wirral, was raided by police who seized luxury clothing worth around £136,000 and watches worth £129,000. Ryan Palin (Image: Merseyside Police) But one of the keys to making the case stick was the gaudy, colourful mural of the Irish UFC fighter McGregor daubed on a wall. Detectives examining EncroChat accounts suspected he was the man behind the handle 'Titch.com', which was implicated in the trafficking of up to 700kg of cocaine. Unfortunately for Palin, a picture recovered from the account showed the unmistakeable mural, nailing him as the man behind the account. Despite the evidence, he denied conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs but was convicted after a trial and sentenced to 29 years. Posing for selfies Whatever anonymity was afforded by EncroChat devices was rendered pointless when Jon Hassall, aka 'TrustedBat', sent photos of himself to an associate. The 23-year-old was then charged with supplying 3kg of cocaine and 40kg of cannabis - given a combined value of £225,000. Jon Hassall, 23 and of Witley Close in Moreton, was sentenced to seven years for drug offences after being unmasked as the EncroChat user TrustedBat with the help of this selfie (Image: Merseyside Police) Hassall, of Witley Close in Moreton, Wirral, was jailed for seven years. Directions straight to their home Mark Cavanagh was the first Merseyside criminal whose EncroChat details were discussed as part of his sentencing. He had already admitted his leading role in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine before detectives were able to get their hands on his messages. But the data they obtained still proved useful - effectively opening his contact book and trading network and revealing the extent of his reach. His exchanges showed that across just three days in June 2020, Cavanagh told of selling two kilos of high-purity cocaine for £37,000 each, refused to buy kilos from another wholesaler because their asking price was too high, and ordered four kilograms of cocaine on credit - a deal that would cost him more than £130,000. Mark Cavanagh, 30 (Image: livepool echo) He also boasted that he had been "grafting" for 15 years. Ultimately Cavanagh, originally from Wallasey, is believed to have sold almost 50kgs of Class A drugs across two supply networks, raking in as much as £2.3m. He was unveiled as the user of an account with the handle Headfluffy because of one simple mistake - when arranging a deal with a wholesaler he actually gave the address of his Foxdene home in Ellesmere Port as a drop off point for the drugs he was buying. He has since been sentenced to 14 years and six months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and dangerous driving. Photos revealed distinctive features of their homes Steven Strachan portrayed himself as a legitimate businessman while using EncroChat to trade in cannabis, cocaine, ketamine and amphetamine. When police raided his home they found around £10,000 of drug money hidden in a kitchen cupboard, a Rolex watch and a cash counting machine. They also discovered documents revealing that he sent a total of £300,000 to Spain or Portugal in late 2020.
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. This included an image of him lazing in his yard, which had distinctive paving that allowed police to match it to the picture sent by the account. Strachan admitted conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs and a charge of possessing criminal property. He was jailed for six years. Exposed by a love of cheese Carl Stewart was also undone by an image shared over EncroChat. He used his Toffeeforce account to cover his tracks as he supplied large amounts of class A and B drugs. But the 39-year-old was identified after sharing an image of a block of cheese in the palm of his hand. Experts analysed the image and, incredibly, were able to assess his fingerprints.
Carl Stewart, whose criminal career crumbled due to his love of blue cheese.
Stewart, of Gem Street in Vauxhall, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin, conspiracy to supply MDMA, conspiracy to supply ketamine and transferring criminal property. He was jailed for 13 years and six months. When passwords are anything but secret Liam Hughes was part of a drugs operation that had international links to Morocco, Spain and Dubai, and connections across the UK to London and Cardiff.
Liam Hughes, 24
(Image: Liverpool Echo)
He told police he was so successful he earned between £4,000 and £8,000 a month and that for about six months prior to his arrest, a bit less than £100,000 in cash came through his address every week. Spreadsheets showed that in May 2020 alone the gang he part of supplied 64kg of cocaine to customers for £2.2m, received around £925,000, and appeared to bank £745,000. Hughes operated under the handle BleakMoth and his home in Karonga Way, Fazakerley, was used as a "safehouse" for large quantities cash and Class A drugs, which were weighed and "bashed" for onward supply. Police seized £226,235 from a cupboard above his oven, a kilo of cocaine, a kilo of the adulterant benzocaine, a vacuum sealing machine and cannabis. One of the ways officers linked BleakMoth to Hughes was his password - which was the name of his daughter. The 24-year-old admitted conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and to convert criminal property, and possessing cannabis. He was jailed for 14 and a half years. Just about everything
(Image: Liverpool Echo)
James Duckworth's use of EncroChat gave detectives a number of ways to identify him. He sent pictures of cash - £345,000 - that detailed his fire place. A password to his device combined his name with that of his partner and children. He told contacts his home was recognisable because of the white Jaguar outside. The 42-year-old sent a photo of home security camera footage not only showing that Jaguar parked outside, but also his hand holding his phone and jewellery on his wrist clearly visible. He even sent out his address. It was, therefore, of little surprise he was the first to be jailed as a result of an EncroChat investigation led by Merseyside Police. Duckworth, of Langdale Close in Kirkby was said to have been "actively involved" in supplying multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and heroin, exceeding 48kg. He was jailed for 16-and-a-half years after he admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs plus conspiracy to convert criminal property and possessing criminal property. Read more of today's top stories here. READ NEXT: No queues and empty halls: Eerie silence across Manchester as rail strikes bring back scenes of a not-too-distant past Boy, 16, rushed to hospital and 'almost died' after inhaling laughing gas at Parklife Man accidentally named as paedophile by police in 'human error' took his own life ‘The passage of time should not be a barrier to justice’: Oldham MPs speak out over ‘serious failings’ in response to child abuse cases Forest Bank prison is 'infested with rats'
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