Hoylake man jailed after concealing drugs in coffee bags

Four members of an organised crime group, responsible for moving multiple kilos of cocaine, heroin, and Ketamine have been sentenced following an investigation by officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

The following were all sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 27 March, after they all pled guilty to drugs offences:

Daniel McLoughlin, 37, of Hoylake who used the handles ‘Tabooky’ and ‘Wearyspear’ was jailed for 14 years and four months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and for exporting Class B drugs to Australia. 

Elliot Garrity, 44, of West Derby who used the handle ‘Keptcreek’ pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and possession of a prohibited weapon. He was jailed for eight years. 

Luke Bolan, 24 of Croxteth was sentenced to ten months imprisonment suspended for 12 months plus 70 months of unpaid work after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs. 

Charlotte Smith, 33, of Liverpool pleaded guilty to being concerned in supply of Class A and B drugs and was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 50 hours of unpaid work.   

These are the latest to be jailed as part of Operation Venetic – an international operation targeting criminals who used a mobile encryption service to try to evade detection.   

Following a complex investigation, it was found that Mcloughlin, Garrity, Bolan, and Smith were part of an organised crime group that moved cash and drugs throughout Merseyside between 20 March 2020 and 19 February 2021.

McLoughlin, who played a leading role in the conspiracy would take the orders via his drugs line, which he advertised as open “from 6pm – 6am”. He’d then send the orders to his couriers, Garrity and Bolan, who would deliver them across Merseyside.   

Garrity was a licenced taxi driver who would deliver drugs to customers while driving his cab, accepting payment by cash, bank transfer, or his taxi sum up card machine. The two would frequently bring snacks, cigarettes, and alcohol in addition to the drugs in order to profit from the country being in lockdown.  

In April 2020, McLoughlin exported a quarter of a kilo of ketamine to Australia, disguised in vacuum sealed Starbucks coffee bags (pictured, lead image).

Following the first successful delivery, he and Garrity worked together and planned to expand the supply to Australia. They also planned to run their local criminal enterprise around the clock, employing two drivers for 12-hour shifts. 

Detective Inspector Mike Robinson from the NWROCU’s Investigation Team said,
“This criminal enterprise has been described as a ‘Deliveroo service for drugs’ where they would make thousands of pounds a week, profiting from the country being in the middle of a pandemic. We uncovered messages from McLoughlin to other Encro users, bragging about making £15,000 during one week alone in lockdown. 

“When the encro server was brought down in June 2020, the group didn’t stop. They continued their business using burner phones. It was during this time they recruited Luke Bolan, a friend of McLoughlins partner Charlotte Smith, and provided him with a burner phone to assist with deliveries.

“When we arrested McLoughlin, we discovered an office at his address set up with a map of Merseyside and overlay postcodes, which we believe he used to direct Garrity and his cab to transport his drugs more efficiently.   

“We know the destruction that drug supply causes and the NWROCU remains relentless in our pursuit of these criminals and to bring down serious and organised criminal groups.

“This group thought that they could evade police by using encrypted phones, but they were wrong. I hope this result shows that our officers will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of these people who think they are above the law and believe they can evade justice.”

Image: McLoughlin exported a quarter of a kilo of ketamine to Australia, disguised in vacuum sealed Starbucks coffee bags

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