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Folkestone drug dealer jailed for more than four years after £315,000 was found in boot of car

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A drug dealer from Folkestone has been jailed after police discovered he had used an encrypted software to organise deals across east Kent.

Using information gained from the criminal platform "Encrochat", detectives found that Jordan Nicholl and his brother Ryan Nicholl were supplying drugs on a large scale between March and June 2020.

Jordan Nicholl has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Picture: Kent Police
Jordan Nicholl has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Picture: Kent Police

Both men were detained during pre-planned warrants at their homes and at Canterbury Crown Court today Jordan was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.

The evidence against Jordan stemmed partly from a police stop in May 2020, when officers in Deal became suspicious of a blue Renault Megane.

After the car was stopped, 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's fingerprints on several bundles. Further research showed he had travelled close to where the exchange took place.

Jordan, 32, of Atkinson Road, Folkestone, later admitted conspiring to supply cannabis as well as possession of and transfer of criminal property.

Cash found in the back of the Renault Megane. Picture: Kent Police
Cash found in the back of the Renault Megane. Picture: Kent Police

The wider investigation into the brothers' activities found messages that suggested they had shared the profits of their drug dealing.

Using the alias 'lawfulshark', Ryan and others used the encrypted Encrochat phone system to communicate with organised criminals to buy and sell large quantities of drugs.

However, unknown to them, the network had been infiltrated by police and was being actively monitored.

Analysis of the messages showed the sale of large amounts of drugs - mainly cocaine - was being organised through Encrochat, with photographs of illegal substances often shared before a price was agreed.

Following the seizure of money from the car in May 2020, messages showed they were forced to break off an association with a supplier.

Both brothers were arrested in November the same year, when simultaneous warrants were carried out at their addresses by police. They were charged the next day and have since been held on remand.

Ryan, 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.

DC 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.

"There can never be any tolerance shown to people who conspire to supply drugs on our streets and I am pleased one brother has now been jailed and the other awaits sentence."

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