Six charged following raids
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Six men have been charged following a series of early morning warrants in south and west Essex yesterday.
In total, seven warrants were executed simultaneously including in Grays, Wickford, Brentwood, and Canvey Island at around 6.30am yesterday (Wednesday 7 October).
The raids are part of an investigation into the sale of drugs in Essex.
Nine people were arrested and officers found a five-figure sum of cash, and a cannabis grow and equipment.
Six men have now been charged.
Four of them are due to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday 8 October) charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
* Russell Hands, 43, of The Chase, Wickford
* Michael Read, 53, of Crouch Road, Grays
* Mark Scarborough, 34, of Adams Glade, Rochford
* Mark Gooch, 37, of Sandringham Road, Pilgrims Hatch
Two other men have also been charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
Conrad Deprose, 28, of Alicia Avenue, Wickford is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on 10 December while Jeremy Goldner, 53, of Northolm, Edgware is due to appear at the same court on 21 December.
A 44 year-old woman from Canvey Island has been released on bail until 2 November while a 19 year-old man from Pilgrims Hatch has been released under investigation.
A 53 year-old man was taken to hospital following his arrest and is there currently.
The investigation was one of those which came from Op Venetic – a major operation involving the cracking of a bespoke encrypted global communication service, exclusively used by criminals
EncroChat offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service with 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 in the UK.
The primary use was for coordinating and planning criminal activities including the distribution of illicit commodities and money laundering.
Since 2016, international law enforcement agencies worked together to target EncroChat, and other encrypted criminal communications platforms, and earlier this year agencies in France and the Netherlands infiltrated the platform.
The intelligence gleaned through this was then shared via Europol to national law enforcement agencies.