A Sefton man has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis using the Encrochat encrypted messaging platform.
A spokesperson from Merseyside Police said: “At around 12.50pm on Wednesday 23 November, police executed a warrant to arrest a 47-year-old man at Manchester Airport after being extradited from Holland.”
“John Barton, 47 years, of Ennerdale Road, #Formby has been charged with conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and sell/transfer a prohibited weapon.”
“Barton has been remanded into custody and is due to appear at Merseyside Magistrates Court today, Thursday 24th November.”
The charge forms part of the Merseyside Police response to Operation Venetic: a national investigation into the use of encrypted mobile devices, commonly referred to as Encrochat.
Merseyside Police worked in conjunction with Crown Prosecution Service and the National Crime Agency to extradite Barton from Holland in their relentless pursuit to identify those suspected of using the Encrochat platform to deal drugs.
Anyone with information about drug supply or weapons being stored, carried or used in their community is asked to contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.