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  • Writer's pictureThe DigitalBank Vault

Romaine Hyman, a key target of the encrypted messaging service EncroChat,jailed for 26 years


A man from Bath who organized the supply of at least £3million worth of cocaine to the South West and boasted to his contacts that his gun had “a silencer…the whole shebang” has been jailed for 26 years.

Romaine Hyman, 30, previously of Portland Place, Bath, was found guilty of 18 offenses at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (February 15) and was sentenced today (February 18).

Hyman became a key target in a South West Regional Organized Crime Unit (SW ROCU) investigation following Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted messaging service EncroChat.

Also sentenced for his part in the supply chain was sprinter Leon Reid, 27, of Longmead Terrace, Bath. He has represented Ireland at the 2021 Olympic games, reaching the semi-finals of the 200m.

Yet Hyman was the real organizer of crime – using the handle ‘Locksmith-rome’, Hyman operated at the center of four conspiracies to supply cocaine and heroin from London and the Midlands to the South West and two conspiracies to launder the millions of pounds made from that supply.

He not only sourced and supplied multi-kilo quantities of drugs, but also smaller supplies to regular customers. He even cooked cocaine himself to produce crack cocaine to sell, and supplied heroin, MDMA and ketamine.

Hyman was arrested on 29 May 2020 after receiving a delivery of seven kilo blocks of cocaine from London and taking them to Leon Reid’s Bath flat.

Hyman sent a photo of the Fendi blocks with the words “Landed safe thank you” to his London supplier.

That was his final Encro message as five minutes later, as he left the flat, he was arrested. When officers searched Reid’s flat, they not only found the Fendi cocaine, but also a padlocked suitcase containing a handgun, 25 rounds of ammunition, a silencer, a kit to adapt the weapon to function as a submachine gun, £23,000 stashed in a drawer , a money counter, and equipment Hyman used to cook his crack cocaine.

He also paid to use two other Bath addresses, one in Twerton where £24,000 was seized from inside a safe, and one in Snow Hill where 54g cocaine, 3.7kg crystallized MDMA, 3,000 MDMA tablets, one kilo of ketamine, 200g of cutting agent and a hydraulic press were seized.



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