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#Encrochat: Major player in £2m conspiracy to supply drugs jailed for 12 years


Lee Dunn, 42, was arrested after messages were uncovered showing him arranging multiple deals of cannabis and cocaine over two and a half months from March to June 2020, Ipswich Crown Court heard.


Dunn, of Alexandra Road, Felixstowe, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

Sentencing him on Thursday ( July 7) Judge Emma Peters said he’d been high up in an organised crime group and had become involved in the conspiracy to supply drugs between March and June 2020 just weeks after being released on licence from a nine year prison sentence for conspiracy to supply cocaine.


She said that despite his claim that he’d only been involved with less than 10kgs of cocaine she was satisfied he’d been involved with 23kgs of cocaine.


Charges Royle for Dunn said at as well as disputing the amount of cocaine he’d been involved with, Dunn also disputed the amount of cannabis involved and claimed it was less than half the amount claimed by the prosecution.


The investigation, by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), was part of Operation Venetic, which saw data uncovered following the seizure of servers linked to the Encrochat platform.


Unlocking the encrypted tool – used exclusively by criminals to communicate with each other – allowed investigators to view messages and other media sent between users as they discussed large-scale criminality such as the movement of drugs and weapons.


It was one of the biggest crime-fighting breakthroughs of recent years, and has laid bare the operations of gangs across the country. 

Using this data, detectives from ERSOU were able to establish that Dunn was behind one of the handles on the system, uncovering conversations between him and various other users relating to the distribution of cocaine and cannabis.


 

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