Five members of an organised crime group were jailed for a total of more than 50 years, for their part in running network supplying drugs in Watford, St Albans and London Colney.
Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Command set about dismantling a well-established organised crime group (OCG) who had been using an encrypted phone app called ‘encrochat’ to communicate with OCG members and plan crimes.
The Operation Relentless team had been carrying out an intensive investigation of the OCG since August 2019, when in March 2020 police benefited from a significant breakthrough in the fight against organised crime. The National Crime Agency (NCA) used its powers to gain access to the encryption protocols, passing on intelligence to police forces to identify criminals and their activities.
Five OCG members were sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday 11 February.
Scot Wells, 42 of Radlett Road, Frogmore, jailed for 15 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Adam Mayling, 41 of Hempstead Court, Watford, jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Jason Walton-Whitelock, 31, of Lomont Court, Edgware, jailed for eight years for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Wayne Everitt, 36 of Grovelands, Park Street, jailed for nine years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Mark Gallagher, 38 of Ashbourne Court, St Albans, jailed for five years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Detective Inspector Sarah Corr, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Relentless team, said: “We had been running an investigation for some time into the activities of this OCG. The NCA provided further evidence after a breakthrough in accessing the encrypted ‘encrochats’ between users of devices with identified “handles” or usernames. When these criminals were speaking with what they thought was impunity, the content captured provided valuable intel into the intricacies of how the OCG operated. It enabled us to determine who the key individuals were and what criminal activity they were responsible for.
“As part of this long running investigation there have been 27 individuals arrested, 18 charged and sentenced at court to more than 139 years in total. Six offenders remain to be dealt with by the courts, others received out of custody drug courses. We also seized over six kgs of cocaine and 50 kgs of cutting agent, along with several hydraulic presses. Also seized was a large amount of liquid amphetamine and amphetamine paste and five kgs of cannabis. More than £281,000 in cash was also recovered.
“Organised crime groups use violence, supply drugs and commit a whole range of crimes that pose a real threat to the community. Operation Relentless is Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to this on-going threat. As part of this work, we depend on information from members of the public to help us crack down on drug-related crime. Any information you can provide, no matter how small it may seem, could help us to identify and apprehend drug dealers.”
Thirteen other members of the OCG have previously been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court:
Clive Latter,63, of Addlestone, Surrey, jailed for two years 10 months on 25/06/20 for conspiracy to supply amphetamine
Martin Walsh, 55, of Churchfields, Watford, jailed for seven years and eight months on 07/10/20 for conspiracy to supply amphetamine and cocaine
Justin Terry, 47, of Aldenham Road, Elstree, jailed for eight years on 07/10/20 for conspiracy to supply amphetamine and cocaine
Ricky Green, 29, of Park Road, Enfield, jailed for six years and five months on 09/10/20 for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Alexander Green, 32, of High Street, Walkern, jailed for six years and five months on 09/10/20 for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Philip Blackburne, 39, of Mimas Road, Hemel Hempstead, jailed for 10 years and two months on 07/10/20 for conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply ketamine and cannabis
Ifraz Khan, 36, of Howland Garth, St Albans, jailed for eight years and five months on 27/08/21 for possession with intent to supply cocaine
Jamel George, 29, of Broad Walk, London, was jailed for seven years and five months on 27/08/21 for possession with intent to supply cocaine
Adam Irons, 40, of Lower High Street, Watford, jailed for five years and five months on 27/08/21 for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Gary Pearce, 64, of Farrington Avenue, Bushey, jailed for six years on 27/08/21 for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Joshua Pollock, 27, of Chestnut Avenue, Rickmansworth jailed for five years on 27/08/21 for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Paul Parsons, 48, of Francis Road, Ware, jailed for six years and five months on 08/10/21 for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis
Carl Walker, 47, of Blacksmiths Hill, Bennington, jailed for seven years and three months on 07/10/21 for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis
You can report information about a crime online or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat. You also call the non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress call 999.