A drug dealer from Folkestone has received a jail term after his drugs network used the encrypted Encrochat phone system to organise deals in east Kent was uncovered.
Using information gained from the criminal phone system, detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate found that Jordan Nicholl and his brother Ryan Nicholl were supplying drugs on a large scale between March and June 2020.
Both men were detained during pre-planned warrants at their respective homes and Jordan Nicholl was sentenced to four and a half years at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday 22nd June 2022.
The evidence against Jordan Nicholl stemmed partly from a police stop on Sunday 9th May 2020, when officers in Deal became suspicious of a blue Renault Megane. The car was stopped and a search led to an encrypted mobile phone and £315,000 in cash being located and seized.
A forensic review of the notes found Jordan Nicholl’s fingerprints on several bundles. Further research showed he had travelled close to where the exchange took place. Jordan Nicholl, 32, of Atkinson Road, Folkestone, later admitted conspiring to supply cannabis as well as possession of and transfer of criminal property.
There can never be any tolerance shown to people who conspire to supply drugs on our streets
Using the alias ‘lawfulshark’, Ryan Nicholl and others used the encrypted Encrochat phone system to communicate with organised criminals and buy and sell large quantities of drugs. Unknown to them however, the network had been infiltrated by police and was being actively monitored.
Both brothers were arrested on 23rd November 2020, when simultaneous warrants were carried out at their addresses by Kent Police. They were charged the next day and have since been held on remand. Ryan Nicholl, 37, of Tram Road, Folkestone, has since admitted conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs and will be sentenced at a later date. The driver of the Megane was a 37-year-old man from Crawley. He admitted acquiring criminal property and was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment in July 2020.
Detective Constable Aaron Chapman, Kent Police’s investigating officer, said ‘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.