The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Paul Mangan, 27, of Huyton, had an armoury of firearms, including sub-machine guns, at his disposal and was heavily involved in the supply of Cocaine, Heroin and cannabis.
To conduct his business, he used an encrypted mobile phone, called an Encro, to disguise his involvement. His nickname on the device, or his “handle” was “Paleradio”.
The period of the police investigation into Mangan spanned from April to May 2020.
The Encro phone has an encrypted messaging system that the criminal underworld thought it was impossible for the authorities to crack. Organised crime gangs across the world used them to run their illicit enterprises and empires. In April 2020, police in France were able to remotely install software on a number of EncroChat devices that gave them access to the information on the devices. This was shared with police forces in other countries, including the UK.
Data showing Paul Mangan’s messages under the handle “ Paleradio” were shared with Merseyside Police. Personal information in the messages and cell-site evidence enabled them to link the device and the activities of the owner to Paul Mangan.
Arrangements to buy and share firearms were revealed along with masses of information about drugs deals.
Paul Mangan was arrested in April 2021 and charged with Conspiracy to transfer firearms and Conspiracy to supply Cocaine, Cannabis and Heroin.
He denied the charges but was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Today (10 March 2022) Mangan was sentenced to 18 years and 6 months in jail.
District Crown Prosecutor Jonathan Egan, of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said, “Paul Mangan was up to his neck in the dangerous and violent world of drug dealing.
“The messages retrieved from his Encrochat phone revealed he both had firearms and was prepared to use them if needed to protect his illegal trade in drugs.
“Organised crime is a dark and dangerous world and the people involved will stop at nothing to hold on to their illegal business.
“But the police and the Crown Prosecution Service are equally determined to bring them to justice and protect our communities from the damage these criminals and their wares inflict.”
Detective Constable Lynsey Dawson of Merseyside Police said, “Mangan’s covert messages via Encrochat revealed his clear involvement in the supply of dangerous weapons and drugs across Merseyside that could have caused grave injuries and suffering to families and residents in our community.
“We know the destruction that drugs and weapons cause and Merseyside Police remains relentless in our pursuit of these criminals and to bring down serious and organised criminal groups.
“Merseyside Police, along with law enforcement agencies across the world, will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of those people who think they are above the law, and we will continue to target criminals like Mangan to keep this positive momentum going.”