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Picture Of Xmas Tree Decorated With £20 Notes And White Powder Found On Drug Dealer's Phone

Tom Sanders

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Picture Of Xmas Tree Decorated With £20 Notes And White Powder Found On Drug Dealer's Phone

Police investigating a drug ring in Liverpool were surprised (and maybe a bit amused) to find that one hapless dealer had a picture on his phone of an Xmas tree decked out in £20 notes and large bags of white powder, nestled tastefully inbetween some fetching silver tinsel.

Officers from Merseyside Police made the discovery while searching through the phone of Marvin Porcelli, 47, from Wavertree, when he was apprehended as part of Operation Overboard, which sought to target a group of local drug traffickers over the course of the year.

Porcelli later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, diamorphine and cannabis. He was subsequently sentenced to seven years and six months in jail on Monday (20 December).

Credit: Merseyside Police
Credit: Merseyside Police

And while it's unclear whether the photo was of Porcelli's own Christmas tree or just something he saw and wanted a snap of, it's probably not the best thing to have on your phone when you're wanted for drugs offences.

Eight other men from across Merseyside were also sentenced as part of the investigation, for a total of 89 years between them.

Merseyside Police then subsequently took to Twitter to share news and pictures of the bust and also to clown on the hapless gang.

They said: "We caught Porcelli as part of Operation Overboard, which is apt as that's how we'd describe the Christmas decor snapped on his phone (what's wrong with a nice spruce with some simple baubles and tinsel?).

"We also caught eight other (un)wise men as part of Overboard and found lots of interesting parcels under the tree (as well as in other parts of their houses), namely drugs worth £1.3m."

Detective Inspector Paul McVeigh said: "Today's sentencing of nine men under Operation Venetic and Operation Overboard is a huge success.

"Infiltrating this gang of co-conspirators was an operation in itself, and it is pleasing to see all 11 offenders in this organised crime group jailed for their crimes."

Detectives also discovered that four of the defendants had been using Encrochat on the dark web to hide their dealings.

Four of the suspects went to trial but were found guilty by a jury. The other five offenders pleaded guilty.

During the investigation detectives managed to seize more than £282,500 of cash, firearms and ammunition, and a substantial amount of Class A drugs with a street value of more than £1.3 million.

The police concluded: "Joking aside, these men were serious criminals, highly organised and some were well armed.

"They just didn't reckon on the expertise, perseverance and capabilities we and law enforcement throughout the UK and Europe possess."

Topics: Christmas Tree, Police, Cocaine, Drugs

Tom Sanders
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