Speke man jailed for seven years for drugs offences

A Speke man has been sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court.

Craig Hill, 37, was jailed on Friday, 7 June, after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to supply cocaine; Conspiracy to supply cannabis; and Production of cannabis.

The investigation forms a further part of Merseyside Police’s 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.

Hill was arrested on Thursday, 9 May, at his home address, within which officers found a cannabis grow. He used the Encrochat handle ‘Lewdvine’ to supply kilo quantities of Class A and B drugs.

Detectives were able to attribute Hill to ‘Lewdvine’ by a number of clues being saved in the device, including goggles and references to his resemblance to the cartoon character Penfold from Danger Mouse.

He also revealed where he lived through a distinctive new door, and details of his vehicle, an ex-police BMW.

Detective Inspector Peter McCullough said, “Our work continues to put before the courts all of those criminals identified under Operation Venetic. Thanks to our extensive investigation and some helpful clues left by Hill, he will tonight be beginning a significant prison sentence.

“Our work to prevent criminals from targeting the vulnerable people in our communities with illicit drugs goes on and we would always encourage members of the public to contact us if they have any information which could assist with our enquiries.

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

Image: Merseyside Police

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