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#Encrochat: A "top level controller” of a £27m drug gang was caught as he tried to flee to Spain

Jordan Talbot - LittleNev, James Ward - StableToast, and Jamie Carlton - StaleSloth

Talbot was exposed as EncroChat boss "LittleNev" - a leader of a plot involving "at least" 500kg of Class A drugs.

The 29-year-old planned to move abroad as soon as his licence period for a past sentence for trafficking cocaine expired.

Ahead of his big trip Talbot went on a two-week spending spree, buying himself more than £40,000 of Rolex watches.

But detectives swooped on the cocaine, heroin and cannabis dealer as he tried to cross the channel at Folkestone in Kent, on July 20, 2020.

A judge said it was an "extremely grave offence" as he jailed Talbot for 21 years and nine months.

Ward went by the name "StableToast", Carlton used the handle "StaleSloth", and another Merseyside man - who is still at large - was called "DampHedge".

EncroChat messages showed 10 weeks of multi kilo trading between April 1 and June 13, 2020 but notes on Talbot and DampHedge's EncroChat devices showed the "full scale" of the scheme, dating back to January 2019.

Talbot, Carlton and Ward all admitted conspiring to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.

Talbot and Ward also admitted conspiring to supply Class B drugs.

Ward was involved in transporting about 48kg of Class A drugs, from March 31, 2020 for about two and a half months.

He was jailed for 15 years and nine months.

Carlton had been involved in transporting 20kg of Class A drugs from May 1, 2020 for five or six weeks. He was jailed for 12 years.



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