Breaking Liverpool Merseyside Prescot

A 30-year-old man has been jailed  in connection with an international operation targeting criminals who used a mobile encryption service to try to evade detection

Adam Lonergan of Rydal Avenue, Prescot, was sentenced to 11 years eight months at Liverpool Crown Court today for conspiracy to supply Cocaine, Heroin and Cannabis. 

Lonergan was evidenced as using the handle ‘Sickmallet’ on encrochat to distribute large quantities of Class A and B drugs across Merseyside. 

After an extensive investigation Lonergan was arrested by police on Tuesday 16 March who found a significant quantity of cash at his home address. 

A total of 7 Merseyside men have now been sentenced after the operation, which has involved European law enforcement agencies working with the NCA and supported across the UK by police forces and Regional Organised Crime Units.

The operation came about after law enforcement officials in Europe managed to crack the ‘encrochat’ service being used by criminals involved in serious and organised crime to carry out their business. Arrests are continuing on Merseyside as part of this operation.

Around 60,000 users of encrochat have been identified worldwide, with about 10,000 of them in the UK – all involved in coordinating and planning the supply and distribution of drugs and weapons, money laundering and other criminal activity.

Detective Inspector Chris Lowe said: “Today’s sentencing shows once again how seriously police and the courts take those organised criminals who supply drugs across Merseyside and beyond.

“Adam Lonergan was supplying large amounts of illegal drugs and generating vast profits in doing so. He will now perhaps take time to reflect on the risks he took and the harm he caused, while serving his jail time.

“Lonergan, like many others, thought that by using encrypted devices he could evade justice. He was wrong, and he won’t be last to realise this.

“As part of Operation Venetic, Merseyside Police has so far arrested 102 people, of which 71 have been charged with serious drug trafficking or firearms offences. This year will see a number of these people continuing to appear before the courts, and we welcome each and every one. 

“Merseyside and many areas of the UK are safer thanks to this operation, and we will continue to target anyone involved in serious organised crime to help keep drugs and exploitation out of our communities.”

If you have any information about suspected drug dealing in your area, please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.