Wirral man jailed for over 11 years for Encrochat drug dealing

A Wirral man has been jailed today, Tuesday 9 August, for his role in supplying drugs across the country.

Thomas Jefferson Hawkes, 30, of Claughton, was sentenced today at Liverpool Crown Court to 11 and a half years in prison.

He had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing in May to conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis

He was also convicted of money laundering where it was estimated that during a six-month period, between January and June 2020, Hawkes collected in excess of £1.4m in cash on behalf of other Encrochat handles.

It was also evidenced that he was responsible for collecting and distributing 14kg of cocaine and 75kg of cannabis.

He was charged in December 2021 as part of Merseyside Police’s response to Operation Venetic: an international operation targeting criminals who used the mobile encrypted messaging platform Encrochat, in an attempt to evade detection. 

Hawkes, who used the Encrochat handle ‘Goldgrape’, was identified as working with other co-conspirators, including two who were jailed last year. 

George Marsh, 33 years, of Birkenhead was sentenced in December to 16 years imprisonment.  He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, cannabis and ketamine at Liverpool Crown Court. 

The other co-conspirator was Bradley Luxton, 34 years, from Upton who was also jailed for 16 years in August 2021 after pleading guilty to three counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two counts of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and converting criminal property. 

Detective Sergeant James Boardman said, “This a very good result as we disrupted a chain of supply of large quantities of drugs. I hope this sends a clear message to criminals that crime doesn’t pay – we’ll continue to be relentless in our pursuit of offenders.”

Anyone with information on drug dealing in their community is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Image: Merseyside Police

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