An Encrochat dealer living a life of luxury during the Covid-19 lockdown has been exposed by police investigators who discovered his involvement in a massive drug operation. Callum Buckley, known by his alias ‘Peptalk,’ was buying £42,000 worth of cocaine every week while the country was grappling with the pandemic. His downfall occurred when law enforcement stumbled upon a locked storage unit containing a significant stash of drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, and cannabis, with a total value of £81,750.
Buckley, a 33-year-old individual who operated on a wholesale scale, attempted to deflect blame onto others and deny his knowledge of the illicit substances found in the container despite his name being on the rental agreement. However, the encrypted messages exchanged on his Encrochat device unveiled the extent of his involvement in organized crime. Detectives uncovered his leading role in supplying drugs to associates not only in Luton, Bedfordshire but also in Ireland, where his direct influence on the drug trade was evident.
Upon raiding Buckley’s rented unit in February 2021, officers seized six vacuum-sealed packages of amphetamines, along with high-purity cocaine and cannabis. The subsequent investigation uncovered Buckley’s communication regarding the purchase of blocks of cocaine, with photographs exchanged and transactions totaling £42,000 per week. Moreover, he discussed the sale of heroin and cannabis valued at £11,000 and £5,000, respectively. Astonishingly, he even shared details of a shipment to Ireland worth approximately £200,000.
Buckley’s opulent lifestyle further highlighted his substantial financial gains from the drug trade. Police found luxurious designer clothing and accessories, including a Louis Vuitton bag and a gold Rolex Yacht Master, amounting to a staggering value of £53,000.
The Manchester Crown Court deemed Buckley’s role in the drug operation to be significant and handed down a sentence of 11 years. Judge Philip Barnes emphasized the societal harm caused by controlled substances and the defendant’s attempts to shift blame onto others. This case serves as a stark reminder to criminals relying on encrypted devices like Encrochat that their actions will not go unpunished. As Detective Constable Chris Anders of GMP’s City of Manchester Challenger North team affirmed, the disruption of Encrochat’s criminal network reveals the true scale of illicit activities and reinforces the message that criminals cannot hide forever—they will be prosecuted and face substantial prison sentences.
What is Encrochat?
Encrochat is an encrypted communication network that was popular among criminals for its alleged security and privacy features. It allowed users to exchange messages and conduct criminal activities without being easily detected by law enforcement agencies.
What is a wholesale scale drug operation?
A wholesale scale drug operation refers to the buying and selling of illicit substances in large quantities, typically intended for distribution to lower-level dealers or users. This type of operation involves significant financial transactions and is often associated with organized crime networks.
What is amphetamines?
Amphetamines are a class of stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system. They can have various effects on the body, including increased alertness, elevated mood, and decreased appetite. However, amphetamines are highly addictive and can cause severe health problems when misused.
What is the role of encrypted devices like Encrochat in criminal activities?
Encrypted devices like Encrochat have been used by criminals to communicate securely and carry out illicit activities without being easily monitored by law enforcement. The recent disruption of Encrochat has led to numerous arrests and the dismantling of criminal networks involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illegal operations.