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‘Huge’ investigation into class A drugs supply leads to six more people being sentenced

A police investigation into industrial amounts of class A drugs being supplied across the UK has led to six more people being sentenced.


A total of 32 people have now been brought before the courts following the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) investigation which was launched in April 2020 after the encrypted chat platform ‘Encrochat’ was dismantled as part of a huge international law enforcement operation.


The platform had been used to organise and facilitate the supply of multiple kilos of cocaine and heroin, primarily between January and September 2020. Data recovered from the platform was used by officers to show the vast scale of offending which stretched the length and breadth of the UK and across international boundaries.


Large amounts of cash and class A drugs were recovered during police enforcement across 2020 and 2021.


The EMSOU investigation led to 22 people being sentenced in January and four people in June for their involvement.


Today, five people were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court for their involvement.

  • A 44-year-old was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)

  • A 33-year-old was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)

  • A 45-year-old was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine) and possession with intent to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)

  • A 27-year-old was sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment after previously being found guilty following a trial of conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)

  • A 27-year-old was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine).

Earlier this month, on 11 July:

  • A 37-year-old from Derbyshire was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, with a requirement to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)

Evidence gathered during the investigation showed class A drugs had been distributed to a group based in the East Midlands – who have previously been sentenced for their involvement.


The class A drugs which were obtained by this group were subsequently supplied onwards to others by three of the defendants.


Two defendants acted as couriers for other customers of the drugs which were being supplied.


Detective Inspector Chris Sewell, from EMSOU, said: “This was a huge investigation which ultimately led to large amounts of cash and class A drugs being recovered and a total of 32 people have now been sentenced as part of this investigation.


“Drug offending brings misery and harm to our communities and we will not tolerate it on our streets. We will continue to act on information received and to bring those responsible for drug offending before the courts. If you have any information about drug offending in your community, please do report it to us so that we can take the action needed."


Further information on the previous sentencings can be found here:

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