A cocaine supplier who arranged high value deals using a heavily encrypted messaging service has been jailed for eight years.
Marcus Brookfield, 47, of Forest Road, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, contacted other criminals via the EncroChat mobile phone platform to discuss the distribution of large quantities of class A drugs.
His offending came to light between April and June 2020 when law authorities in France and the Netherlands cracked the illegal service, allowing them to capture data from thousands of EncroChat devices from across Europe that was then shared with the National Crime Agency.
Further investigation by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate established that Brookfield had been operating under the name ‘Cosmic Samurai’ and arranging to purchase blocks of cocaine worth between £36,000 and £41,000 per kilogram.
A search warrant was carried out at Brookfield’s home address on Tuesday 30 November 2021 where he was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.
He was later charged with both offences and pleaded guilty prior to being sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 31 March 2022.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Aaron Chapman said: ‘The cracking of the EncroChat service has resulted in a large number of serious and organised criminals like Marcus Brookfield being caught and brought to justice.
‘He thought he could get away with buying and selling huge quantities of cocaine in secret but we were able to demonstrate through mobile phone analysis that he was the ‘Cosmic Samurai’ who played a leading role in bringing this destructive substance onto the streets of Kent.
‘This case should send a strong message to others like Brookfield that we have our eyes and ears everywhere, and that the law will always catch up with criminals in the end.’