A 43-year-old man has been jailed after supplying and trading multi-kilos of class A drugs across Merseyside.
Gary Mitchell of Wallasey was jailed for 15 years at Liverpool Crown Court today (Friday 29 October) after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis
Mitchell is the latest man in Merseyside to be jailed as part of Operation Venetic: a national investigation into the use of encrypted mobile devices, commonly referred to as Encrochat.
Officers found that Mitchell, using the encrochat handle “StarkIsland,” conspired with others to supply 27kgs of heroin, 17 kilos of Cocaine, 159 kilos of Cannabis and 7000 ecstasy tablets across Merseyside.
In his messages to suppliers, he gave details of key journeys that he carried out in his vehicle and sent a picture of cannabis that he was holding which enabled police to confirm that the fingerprints in the picture were Mitchells.
Mitchell was arrested at his home in Wallasey and later charged with Class A and Class B drug conspiracies.
So far, the ongoing work of Operation Venetic to unmask drug dealers using encrochat devices has seen 126 people charged with 42 people being sentenced to a total of 492 years prison across Merseyside.
Investigations continue to recoup ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and so far we have recovered £1.8 million in cash, 110kg of cocaine and heroin, and four firearms with ammunition.
Detective Sergeant Jay Boardman said, “Mitchell supplied a devastatingly large amount of drugs across Merseyside that could have destroyed many lives across our communities.
His unabashed photos of drugs and cash that were finally used to bring Mitchell to justice shows that he thought he was above the law and I hope this sentencing proves that crime does not pay, and we will use every tool to make sure anyone who tries to profit from the sale of illegal drugs are handed lengthy jail terms for their crimes.”
“Operation Venetic came about after law enforcement officials in Europe managed to crack the ‘encrochat’ service being used by criminals involved in serious and organised crime to carry out their business.
“Despite the increasing number of people sentenced for these crimes across Merseyside our work still continues along with law enforcement agencies across the world, to pursue anyone who tries to live a lifestyle that destroys lives and families. If you know anyone who could be supplying drugs in your area that could harm others or someone you care about please contact police and we will target anyone involved to ensure it is stamped out of our streets, businesses and communities.”