A Briton prosecuted for drug trafficking was sentenced this Friday to 13 years and six months in prison by the court in Liverpool (United Kingdom). The 39-year-old admitted to marketing cocaine, heroin, MDMA and ketamine, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The suspect had been betrayed by… His taste for cheese. The police identified him from a photo posted on EncroChat messaging.
Carl Stewart’s love of cheese led police right to his door https://t.co/gBczUbScBl
— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) May 21, 2021
One hand close up
The police had foiled the digital security devices of this encrypted messaging in order to break into it. The anonymous account used by the suspect calling himself “Toffeeforce” for his illegal transactions was also a more personal photo. It was a close-up of the 30-something’s hand holding a piece of Stilton blue cheese in plastic.
By using the snapshot to extract the cheese lover’s fingerprints, investigators discovered his identity. Carl Stewart, originally from Vauxhall, was thus arrested in the context of “Operation Venetic” carried out by the British authorities. The crackdown, which led to the arrest of around sixty people, was made possible by a joint effort by police from several European countries to hack EncroChat. Encrypted messaging has been described in particular by local law enforcement agencies as “a service used by stakeholders. […] organized crime to carry out their misdeeds ”.