A MAN in Chester has been jailed for 12 years for the multi-kilo supply of class A and class B drugs.

Christian ‘Johnny’ Minshull, previously of Saddlery Way, used the EncroChat communications network to discuss with other criminals the supply of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine in the Chester area and beyond.

The 31-year-old was caught by detectives from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) who monitored and analysed the messages he was sending under the handle ‘Gunsmokeboss’.

From April 9, 2020 to June 12, 2020, Minshull spoke to his associates about receiving or arranging for multiple deliveries of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine and the onward distribution of the drugs.

On Tuesday, February 23, a warrant was executed at Minshull’s home address on Saddlery Way.

He was found by police in the bathroom with a number of suitcases packed in the bedroom and due to leave the country imminently to travel to Thailand.

After he was arrested and taken into custody for questioning his home was searched and a large amount of high value designer items were seized along with drug paraphernalia including equipment to press controlled drugs.

Minshull was sentenced on Tuesday, May 11 at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin and amphetamine.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Evans, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “We have been relentless in pursuing those who have so far been identified as using the secretive encrypted device in order to commit organised crime, and this will continue.

“Minshull, like many criminals, believed EncroChat would always be a safe and secure service to message freely and openly without being detected.

“He reaped the rewards of his criminality but it was always going to catch up with him. Thanks to the work undertaken by law enforcement to take down the platform and the work of detectives who the analysed the messages he is now behind bars.”