Man who conducted drugs conspiracy through EncroChat jailed for 18 years
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A man who was responsible for the supply of around 17kg of cocaine through an encrypted device has been jailed for 18 years.
Jamie Joseph Veale, of Moorfield Road, Widnes, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday 25 July after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
Using the handle ‘Monstermunchman’, the 32-year-old used EncroChat to run his large-scale conspiracy - a secretive communications network that was used exclusively by serious and organised criminals before it was cracked by international law enforcement in May 2020.
After EncroChat was brought down, Cheshire Police became part of a huge operation led by the National Crime Agency and working with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the Crown Prosecution Service. This led to Veale being identified as a suspect.
Data from a three-week snapshot - 19 May to 13 June 2020 - showed Veale using EncroChat to operate as a high-level purveyor of drugs.
He was seen to negotiate prices for kilo amounts of class A drugs from those involved in the importation of the bulk amounts. He was responsible for the supply of at least 17kg of cocaine.
Even though Veale had no visible signs of income, he also talked of staying in luxury villas overseas for months at a time, owned a jet ski, had designer watches, and went on extravagant holidays.
On Monday 29 June 2020, Cheshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit executed a warrant at Veale’s address and discovered multiple mobile devices, cash, a large amount of designer jewellery and clothing, and drug related paraphernalia.
Veale was arrested and charged with drugs supply offences.
Detective Sergeant Christian Gordon said:
“Despite having no job, Veale reaped the benefits of his criminal activity, owning luxury items and going on expensive trips abroad.
“He was responsible for the supply of a substantial amount of cocaine and ran his conspiracy through a platform he believed would keep him under the radar.
“But after EncroChat was infiltrated, officers were able to comb through messages attributed to Veale under a codename and collect a catalogue of evidence against him.
“Thanks to this hard work, he is now facing a lengthy spell behind bars.
“Although this case is now closed, our fight continues against those intent on bringing illegal drugs into our communities.
“If you have any information in relation to drugs offences, please contact us via cheshire.police.uk/tell-us or call 101.”