Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate discovered Jordan Nicholl and his brother Ryan Nicholl were supplying drugs on a large scale between March and June 2020 using information obtained from the criminal phone system.
Both men were detained during pre-planned warrants at their respective homes, and Jordan Nicholl was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at Canterbury Crown Court.
Jordan Nicholl was stopped by police on Sunday, May 9, 2020, after officers in Deal became suspicious of a blue Renault Megane.
The car was stopped, and a search resulted in the discovery and seizure of an encrypted mobile phone and £315,000 in cash.
Jordan Nicholl’s fingerprints were discovered on several bundles of notes during a forensic examination. Further investigation revealed that he had travelled near the location of the exchange.
Jordan Nicholl, 32, of Atkinson Road in Folkestone, later admitted to conspiring to supply cannabis as well as possessing and transferring criminal property.
Messages discovered during the investigation into the brothers’ activities suggested that they had shared the profits from their drug dealing.
Ryan Nicholl and others used the encrypted Encrochat phone system to communicate with organised criminals and buy and sell large amounts of drugs under the alias ‘lawfulshark.’
However, they were unaware that the network had been infiltrated by police and was being actively monitored.
Analysis of the messages revealed that large amounts of drugs, primarily cocaine, were being sold through Encrochat, with photographs of illegal substances frequently shared before a price was agreed upon.
Following the seizure of money from the car by police in May 2020, messages revealed that they were forced to end their relationship with a supplier.
Both brothers were arrested on November 23, 2020, when Kent Police executed simultaneous warrants at their homes. They were charged the next day and have been held on remand ever since.
Ryan Nicholl, 37, of Tram Road, Folkestone, has since admitted to conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs and will be sentenced later.
The Megane’s driver was a 37-year-old man from Crawley. In July 2020, he was sentenced to 22 months in prison for acquiring criminal property.
‘Both brothers went to great lengths to conceal their offending, but despite their well-organised and sophisticated attempts to evade capture, we were able to gradually piece together their criminality and identify them,’ said Detective Constable Aaron Chapman of Kent Police.
‘There can be no tolerance for people who conspire to supply drugs on our streets, and I am pleased that one brother has now been jailed and the other is awaiting sentence.’