Leading members of Organised Criminal Group successfully prosecuted for Conspiring to Supply Cocaine.
It can now be reported that following two trials at Kingston Crown Court in 2019, each lasting 3 months, James Thacker led by Christopher Donnellan QC successfully prosecuted leading members of an OCG who organised and distributed substantial quantities of high purity cocaine collected in the West Midlands and conveyed to the edges of London; Watford, Borehamwood, areas within Essex and Kent, Kingston Upon Thames, Northolt, and Chalfont.
The conspiracy existed for a considerable period of time and was already in operation from at least December 2016 as the first police seizure involved 12kg blocks of cocaine. As members of the OCG were arrested by police, they were replaced by others so the conspiracy continued until January 2018 when the remaining members including the orchestrator, known as ‘O’, were arrested.
In total over 100kg of high purity cocaine was seized during the investigation by the Organised Crime Syndicate of the Metropolitan Police. Considering the movements of members of the OCG, and analysis of telephone data communications it is estimated that a more realistic quantity is at least 1 tonne of cocaine (wholesale value at least £32.5 million).
The OCG used pay as you go, PGP enabled, Movistar encrypted, and Encrochat devices. This investigation was the first to encounter Encrochat, a sophisticated encrypted platform to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities.
Seven defendants await sentence in 2020. A further seven defendants have been sentenced after entering guilty pleas. Two defendants were not proceeded with due to serving sentences of life imprisonment.
The case was presented electronically to the jury with iPads.