Runcorn man jailed for 14 years for multi-kilo drug supply after manhunt abroad

Andrew Phillips, previously of Abbey Hey, used the EncroChat communications network to discuss the supply of cocaine and cannabis in the Runcorn area and beyond, with other criminals.

He was caught by detectives from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) who monitored and analysed messages he was sending under the handle ‘Kindleaf’.

Distribution of drugs

Between March 27, 2020 and June 2, 2020 Phillips spoke to his associates about receiving or arranging for multiple deliveries of cocaine and cannabis and the onward distribution of the drugs.

The court heard how Phillips supplied at least 12kg of cocaine and 34kg of cannabis during the period of his offending.

Arrest attempts were made at Phillips’ home address in October 2021, but officers were unable to locate him.


It was quickly established that he’d fled to another country and a manhunt was subsequently launched.

SOCU worked jointly with the National Crime Agency’s international liaison officer network and Dutch authorities after an EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was issued in February 2022.

Phillips was detained and arrested as he left a house in Haarlem, Netherlands, in March 2022.

He was sentenced on Friday, October 20, at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

Behind bars

Detective inspector Nick Henderson 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.

“Phillips, 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.”



Five new retailers welcomed to Wilmslow in 2023

While many other towns across the UK are reporting...

North West Car Dealership Chapelhouse plugs in to Charge-M8

Popular North West Car Dealership Chapelhouse Motor Group has...

Cold North West homes to impact workers and add to illness woes

In a concerning trend, millions of working hours are...

Could your snowman be killing your lawn?

With Cheshire experiencing snow over the weekend, gardening experts...


Don't miss

Former Everton defender Phil Jagielka retires from football

Former Everton and England defender Phil Jagielka has announced...

US Banks Lead the Charge in Online Banking Evolution: A Retrospective by 3D Chess Media

3D Chess Media meticulously examines the history and evolution...

Liverpool 4-0 LASK: Gakpo double sees Reds progress as group winners

Mohamed Salah moved onto 199 Liverpool goals as he...

Congleton company picks Employee Ownership Trust model to secure bright future

Congleton-based Toucan Telemarketing has switched to an Employee Ownership...

More News

Gang who plotted to kill a man but murdered his innocent girlfriend jailed

Four men have been jailed for a total of 173 years in prison for the murder of Ashley Dale at her home in Liverpool,...

Bodies of four missing teens found in overturned car in North Wales

The bodies of four teenage boys who went missing during a camping trip in North Wales have been discovered inside an overturned and partly...

Experts reveal how to keep warm this winter for just 2.7p per hour

With the cold of winter settling in and rising energy costs contributing to the continuing cost of living crisis, Howden Insurance has revealed the...