Jack Daniels and Andrew Talbot, who were based in the Folkestone area, used an encrypted mobile phone platform, known as ‘Encrochat’, to arrange the distribution of the illicit substances.
Unbeknownst to them, the software had been infiltrated by police in France and the Netherlands who shared the information with the National Crime Agency.
The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate then reviewed the data relating to their offending, resulting in them being sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday 3 March 2022.
A review of the infiltrated data showed that, between March and June 2020, a user with the name ‘simplyned’ was involved in supplying large amounts of cocaine and ketamine.
Detectives uncovered that Daniels was the account holder through various enquiries, including a review of phone mast data which revealed most of the communications from the ‘simplyned’ account were sent from within the general vicinity of his home.
Although he would co-ordinate the supply and distribution, he often sent a courier to collect the substances on his behalf.
In the encrypted conversations, the courier was named ‘Andy’ and further enquiries led to him being identified as Talbot. One of the exchanges he completed, on Daniels’ behalf, took place in Staplehurst in May 2020.
A painstaking review of messages taken from Encrochat, which were crossmatched with other intelligence that had been gathered on the two men, led to both men being targeted in November 2020.
Arrests and sentences
Both men were arrested on the morning of 26 November 2020, with simultaneous warrants carried out at their respective homes.
Around £4,500 in cash was found hidden inside a shoe in Daniels’ bedroom, alongside handwritten notes which were linked to the conversations on Encrochat.
Small quantities of cocaine were also located at Talbot’s address.
Both men were taken into custody and promptly charged and remanded.
- Daniels, 32, of Wellington Terrace, Sandgate, pled guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine and ketamine. He was sentenced to seven years and eight months’ imprisonment.
- Talbot, 32, of Upton Close, Folkestone, pled guilty to the same two offences. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein, from the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: ‘Daniels and Talbot used a sophisticated and heavily encrypted messaging system to openly talk about the supply of cocaine and ketamine on our streets. They were involved in huge exchanges of these substances and believed they were untouchable.
‘Although the infiltrated conversations provided us with reasonable suspicion to go after them, our detectives had to painstakingly review evidence from a variety of sources to prove, without any doubt, these two men were the offenders responsible.
‘I am pleased that they have now been held to account. This result is clear proof that our team has the resources and expertise to target organised drug suppliers who are acting on a large scale. We’re going to continue to target criminals involved in similar activity, and the public can expect to see more results such as this throughout the year.’