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Encrochat linked man to drugs haul and stash car

A man who ran a drugs factory of cocaine, MDMA, ketamine and cannabis from his home and kept a drugs stash vehicle for two known dealers has been sentenced.

Jonathan Reader, 34, from Broadbury Road in Bristol, was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency in September 2020 after he was linked via the encrypted comms platform Encrochat to two men responsible for importing cocaine to the UK.

Bertram Fallon and Arron Collins were jailed in February 2021 for six-and-a-half years and nine years and five months respectively after a parcel from The Netherlands was intercepted. It was found to contain five kilos of cocaine hidden within protein powder.

Messages on Collins’ Encrochat device referred to a Citroen car he owned which had been converted into a stash car to hide and transport drugs.

Collins said the car was registered in someone else’s name and kept away from his home to avoid detection.

NCA officers discovered Reader was renting a house owned by Collins at Broadbury Road, Bristol and a car of the same model was registered and insured to him.

When they searched his address, they discovered a haul of drugs including high purity cocaine which had been partially compressed, ready for cutting and with a street value of £7,200.

They also found MDMA in tablet and powder form, and one of the bedrooms had been converted into a growing room for cannabis. The cannabis had an estimated street value of £5,400.

Reader had used his phone to record videos of himself heating ketamine and received advice from another person on how to produce the drug.

Further messages showed Reader was buying, selling and producing ketamine and cannabis.

He pleaded guilty to numerous drug offences at Bristol Crown Court on 27 April 2022. He was sentenced at the same court recently (20 May 2022) to two years imprisonment suspended for two years and 240 hours unpaid work.

NCA Branch Commander Colin Williams recently said:

“Jonathan Reader was an important player in this organised crime group who were selling cocaine around Bristol, being used as a driver of the stash car designed to avoid detection.

“Once we linked him to Fallon and Collins’ crimes, we also found Reader was also a known seller of a number of drugs and his phone showed a detailed journey of his criminality.

“These drugs have a serious impact on our communities and fuel violence and exploitation in the UK and we will work to stop offenders like Reader.”


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