Eastham drug dealer jailed for 16 years

A drug dealer has today, Thursday 13 April, been sentenced to 16 and a half years in jail in another successful prosecution brought as part of the Merseyside Police response to Operation Venetic: the national investigation into the use of Encrochat encrypted mobile devices.

Mark Edwards, 43, of Eastham, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) and conspiracy to supply a Class B drug (cannabis).

Edwards, who operated with the Encrochat handle ‘Virtualwine’, tried to evade police detection in order to supply multi-kilo quantities of drugs.

He was sentenced today on the basis that he conspired to supply 11kg cocaine, 1kg heroin, and 7kg cannabis.

Detective Sergeant James Boardman said, “The jailing of people who continue to peddle drugs and cause misery on the streets of Merseyside is continuing on an almost daily basis.

“Edwards clearly thought that he would evade police by using Encrochat. He was wrong, and now he will pay the price for his criminality.

“Through detailed and thorough investigation we managed to secure evidence to put Edwards behind bars for a number of years.

“Our work to prevent such people from supplying illegal drugs to vulnerable people in our communities goes on, and others already charged are waiting to hear their fate in court.”

Anyone who has information about drug dealing in the community can contact us by sending a DM to @MerPolCC, calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Image: Merseyside Police/Mark Edwards

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