Drug dealer who flew under radar jailed for 10 years

A Knowsley man who dealt with huge quantities of drugs has today, Friday 15 July, been jailed for 10 years.

John Wayne Cass, aged 34, of Westvale in Kirkby was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for his role in supplying drugs.

He was convicted for the following offences; conspiracy to supply a controlled class A drug (cocaine), conspiracy to supply a controlled class B drug (cannabis), conspiracy to convert criminal property (money laundering) and possessing criminal property (money laundering). 

At a court hearing in January, Cass pleaded not guilty, but after appearing in court again last month he changed his plea to guilty.

The drug dealer was unknown to police until he was pulled over in October 2021 for driving erratically on Whitefield Drive, Kirkby. He was found with £5,625 and was arrested and charged with possessing criminal property (money laundering). 

Detectives at Merseyside Police working on Operation Venetic later discovered his fingerprints matched those in a photograph recovered from an Encrochat handle called Frostfortress.

Operation Venetic is an international operation targeting criminals who used a mobile encryption service to deal drugs, commonly referred to as Encrochat, in an attempt to evade detection.

It was found that Encrochat data between 26 March 2020 and 4 June 2020 evidenced his involvement in the supply of 14kg of cocaine, 58.5kg of cannabis and the laundering of £147,000 in cash. 

Detective Inspector Peter McCullough said, “Evidence showed that Cass was a major drug dealer and dealt with huge quantities of cocaine and cannabis which flooded the streets. 

“He had flown under the radar of police and it was thanks to the vigilance of officers on patrol that he came to our attention, when they spotted his erratic driving.  

“We welcome today’s sentencing which highlights another successful conviction under Operation Venetic in our fight against organised crime, preventing Cass from flooding the streets with drugs.

“We are continuing to expose criminals who thought they could evade detection by using the encrypted devices. I hope this sends a clear message that we’ll persist in our pursuit to get them behind bars and will leave no stone unturned.”

Anyone with information on drug dealing is asked to contact @MerPolCC, or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Image: Merseyside Police

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