News Criminal Defence 9th May 2023

EncroChat drugs conspiracy: acquittal for Will Martin and Eleanor Fox at close of prosecution case

Will Martin, leading Eleanor Fox, represented one of three defendants (‘RO’) at St Albans Crown Court charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Operation Hanaster was an investigation into an organised crime network in the Watford area. The criminal group orchestrated the supply of multi-kilo quantities of cocaine, operating both wholesale and “street-dealing” drug lines. RO was alleged by the prosecution to be a trusted deputy of the head of the operation.

Three other defendants had pleaded guilty before trial to charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine. The case against RO centred on EncroChat communications, cell site evidence and undercover surveillance.

At the close of the prosecution case, the successful submission of no case to answer drew attention to evidential deficiencies and investigative failings exposed in cross-examination, and consequent weaknesses of the inferences invited by the prosecution.

Counsel were instructed by Matt Bliss at JSP Law.

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