Cocaine gang member called “Peas and Gravy” caught after using encrypted device to take selfie

A drugs gang who called himself as “Peas and Gravy” was caught after using an encrypted to take a selfie

Carl Bennett was a “runner” in a cocaine supply plot and was trusted to handle up to £250,000 of cash at a time.

His involvement was revealed after French police infiltrated the Encrochat communications network, on which criminals thought they could communicate with impunity.

Only weeks ago did a man from Washington, who called himself “Tank Master” get caught by French Police on the same network by doing the exact same thing, having communicated his postcode through the device.

Police had little difficulty identifying Bennett as “Peas and Gravy” because of the fact the device had been used to take a selfie and he had used an email address to make medical appointments

Paul Cross, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: “This was a large scale drugs supply operation. He was a runner for various members of the group.”

Bennett, 36, of Spinney Terrace, Walker, Newcastle, who has a previous conviction for violence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine between March and June 2020 and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Recorder Andrew Latimer told him: “You conspired with much more serious criminals to supply cocaine. You are described as a runner. Others were in charge, running the group but you played a part.

“Bennett believed he was above the law, he operated in the shadows – but however clever these offenders think they are, the law will always catch up with them.

“Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of all the officers involved, a detailed case was presented before the courts leaving Bennett little choice but to admit his guilt.

“The North East is no place for drug dealers – our forces and partners are committed to tackling illegal supply as part of the wider Operation Sentinel, our continued activity to dismantle serious and organised crime.”