Croxteth man jailed in international drugs operation

A Liverpool man was jailed on Friday 3 December as part an international operation targeting criminals who used mobile encryption service in an attempt to evade detection. 

Harrison Laite, 25 years, of Croxteth was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to four years imprisonment.  

His arrest in April was part of the Merseyside Police response to Operation Venetic: an international operation targeting criminals who used a mobile encryption service, commonly referred to as Encrochat, in an attempt to evade detection. 

Laite used the Encrochat handle Loadedsun to supply multi-kilo quantities of cannabis on the streets of Merseyside.

Detectives were able to catch Laite after discovering text messages on Encrochat in which he discussed the sale of Class B drugs with an estimated street value exceeding £136,000.

Laite was detained at Stansted Airport in April as he returned from Spain, where he had stayed for a few weeks.

He was due to face trial on Monday, 6 December but pleaded guilty in Liverpool Crown Court on Friday to conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Detective Inspector Chris Lowe said, “I hope this latest conviction sends a strong message to perpetrators that there is nowhere to hide, and we are taking action and bring them to justice. And this latest conviction of Laite proves just that, where the evidence was so strong that he has changed his plea to guilty.

“Detectives on this case have managed to disrupt a supply chain and removed a huge quantity of drugs that where destined for our streets and further afield. 

“At Operation Venetic, we are continuing to have significant success in arresting and convicting people using Encrochat. I would ask anyone who has any information about who is supplying or selling drugs in their area to contact us so we can take action.” 

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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