Operation Venetic: 12 year jail time for Salford Encrochat drug supplier who fled to Amsterdam
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Francis McAnulty, of Ordsall, used the encrypted platform to arrange the purchase, importation, and onward high-level supply of multi-kilo quantities of class A and class B drugs.
From conversations between 24 March 2020 and 15 June 2020 and from a recovered debt list, the 27-year-old received at least 31kg of cocaine, three kilos of heroin, one kilo of ketamine and 25 kilos of cannabis.
Messages sent under the handles ‘ShapelyToast’, ‘EasternKiller’ and ‘NoisyBear’ showed he was communicating with at least 10 drug suppliers or customers as well as people who could supply replacement encrypted telephones and laptops.
McAnulty also discussed a shipment of cocaine still being in Germany and the cost of heroin and cocaine in Amsterdam.
On 4 November 2021 officers attempted to stop McAnulty after spotting him driving along Cross Lane in Salford. He drove dangerously at the officers, mounting the kerb in a busy residential area and caused damage to the police car and his vehicle.
After fleeing the scene he abandoned the vehicle on Eccles New Road in Salford.
The vehicle was located and a search found a built in, hidden compartment, operated by a magnet and concealed inside was over five kilos of cocaine and 300g of crack cocaine. A further £33,520 in cash was recovered.
McAnulty fled the country shortly following the incident and a TACA (Trade and Co-operation Agreement) warrant was obtained to support his arrest outside of the United Kingdom. McAnulty was arrested in Amsterdam on 22 February 2023 and extradited back to England on 6 March.
At Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 27 April, McAnulty was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin, ketamine and cannabis, money laundering and possession with intent to supply cocaine and crack cocaine after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, from Salford’s Challenger organised crime team, said: “Sifting through McAnulty’s encrochat messages revealed his clear involvement in high-level drug conspiracies.
“He was in contact with multiple suppliers and customers on a daily basis and arranging the sale of drugs that were being imported from other countries so he could make a substantial yet illegal profit despite the harm they cause to vulnerable people within our community.
“McAnulty, like many criminals before him, thought he was hiding behind a secure communications system. Instead, he was creating his own evidence of organised crime that led him straight to prison.”