A drug dealer who was part of a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and buy lethal firearms has been jailed.
Adrian Reid Davey, aged 34, was a member of a gang which used an encrypted messaging system to fix cocaine and heroin deals worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Davey was discovered to be using the EncroChat messaging system freely – believing the technology made him secure.
But officers were able to analyse his role in drug deals and how he made arrangements to buy a revolver.
Davey was locked up for a total of 14 years, five months at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (8 November 2022).
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
EncroChat was utilised by organised crime bosses across Europe for years, as it allowed them to communicate secretly without police being able to view their messages – making it difficult to link them to criminal activity.
Operation Venetic was the UK law enforcement response to EncroChat.
Following the take down of the service by French and Dutch law enforcement, Nottinghamshire Police was able to work alongside the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) and the National Crime Agency to expose major drug supplies into the county.
Officers caught up with Davey’s criminal activities when they searched his former home in Bestwood on 13 September 2020.
Operation Venetic showed how Davey conspired with others to supply large quantities of heroin and cocaine.
Encrypted messages also revealed Davey’s enquiries about the prices of various illegal firearms and his attempts to purchase a Smith and Wesson revolver.
Davey was arrested on 26 May 2021 and a regional investigation team was able to piece together a complicated case against him.
Detective Inspector Mark Adas said: “I am delighted with the hefty sentence handed down to Davey and the clear message it sends out to other organised criminals operating in the area and causing misery for communities.
“Our team worked meticulously with other agencies to piece together a timeline of Davey’s actions to bring about this result.
“The severity of his offences should not be underestimated, and the quantities of drugs we are talking about here are substantial. The fact that he also conspired to purchase lethal firearms shows his complete disregard for public safety and a real risk of causing harm.
“Criminal gangs thought they were able to avoid detection by using these encrypted devices, but they instead presented us with a treasure trove of evidence that has enabled us to take criminals off our streets and highlight our commitment to removing drugs and weapons from our communities.
“We continue to work relentlessly to crack down on weapon-enabled and drug-related crime and to reduce the availability of firearms and drugs in our neighbourhoods. We treat all such reports with the utmost severity and will always do everything in our power to keep people safe and take action against anyone found to be breaking the law.”