Three jailed for drug operation using encrypted messages
Three men have been convicted and jailed in connection with drug offences where encrypted messaging devices were being used to facilitate the criminal operation.
30 year old Roan Omoworarare of Bloomfield Street in Ipswich, 33 year old Dale Ramsey of Felixstowe Road in Ipswich and 27 year old Marley Bagley of Beadon Way in Woodbridge were all found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday 31 July after a trial lasting about three weeks.
(Image shows left to right Bagley, Ramsey and Omoworarare)
The case concerned the large-scale supply and distribution of multi kilogram amounts of cocaine and cannabis using a secretive communications network called ‘Encrochat’.
In 2020 law enforcement agencies in Europe gained access to this secure communications service, used by organised criminals to communicate with each other. Omowoarare was evidentially attributed to the EncroChat handle ‘mowgli-thirtysix’, while Bagley has been evidentially attributed to ‘artful todger’.
All three were found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A from 10 July 2019 to 16 September 2020.
Omoworarare, Ramsey and Bagley were also found guilty of conspiracy to supply class B drugs from 10 July 2019 to 16 September 2020.
Sentencing of the trio took place yesterday (Tues 1 August) where Omoworarare was given a 15 year sentence for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and 7 year sentence for conspiracy to supply class B drugs to run concurrently. Ramsey was given a seven and half year sentence for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and two year sentence for conspiracy to supply class B drugs to run concurrently. Bagley was given a 10 year sentence for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and four year sentence for conspiracy to supply class B drugs to run concurrently.
The trial follows the execution of warrants conducted in seven separate locations on Wednesday 16 September 2020. These were five address in Ipswich and one in Ingatestone and one in Melton.
Among the items recovered at an address on Felixstowe Road in Ipswich were multiple bags of cash totalling £65,415, various mobile phone devices and an Audi A3 vehicle. At the address in Ingatestone, multiple high value trainers with an estimated worth of over £10,000 were seized, as were three high value watches estimated to be worth £100,000 and a Range Rover Vogue vehicle. At the address in Beadon Way in Melton a designer watch worth £20,000 was recovered along with quantities of herbal cannabis worth approximately £6,000 and a Mercedes E220 vehicle.
(Image above shows two high value watches seized, a Land Rover and cash seized)
The suspects were all local to Ipswich and were close associates with each other. In 2018 Omoworare and Bagley became business associates of a recruitment company with Omoworare the owner of three other companies that were all used to launder the proceeds of drug dealing. Encrochat messages between Omoworare and Bagley demonstrated evidence of their supply of drugs to Ipswich and surrounding areas.
DC Chris Townrow said: “Criminals using Encrochat saw encrypted mobile devices being used to hide behind codenames to co-ordinate and plan the supply and distribution of drugs, money laundering and other criminal activity. Thousands of users are known to have used this technology worldwide, including here in the UK.
“All three defendants were involved in this case were involved in the large-scale supply and distribution of cocaine and cannabis with Omoworare linked to a number of organised criminals. This included an organised crime group from the Nottingham area where he was involved in supplying 1 kilogram of cocaine to members of this Nottingham OCG.
“This was a highly complex investigation and the high quality work conducted demonstrates our on-going determination to rid Suffolk of such drug dealing and associated criminality.”
Officers from Suffolk’s Serious Crime and Disruption Team, Op Sentinel team and Op Scorpion teams were involved in the arrests and subsequent investigation. These proactive teams target the most harmful criminals, using intelligence-led policing and tactics and allow the force to keep on the front foot, taking positive action against drug based criminality and other associated offences, some of which is linked to organised crime groups.
Anyone who has information about drug use in their community is asked to contact their local policing team on 101 or alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Read more on the work on ‘Encrochat’ click here>