Julian Warner sentenced to five years

A man who arranged large-scale drug deals for an organised crime network in London has been jailed.

Julian Warner, 37, of Carefree Close in Romford, was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday (September 4) at Snaresbrook Crown Court for his role in the conspiracy to supply 2.5kgs of cocaine and heroin each.

Warner was caught as part of a three-year investigation by Met Police’s Specialist Crime Unit into identifying “major players in the criminal fraternity and stemming the flow of drugs and guns onto the streets”.

An encrypted communications network, EncroChat, was reportedly accessed by UK’s European partners in the summer of 2020, who then passed on the data to Met Police via the National Crime Agency.

In response, officers launched a large-scale operation to find EncroChat users in London, which was codenamed as “Operation Eternal”.

During this, Warner was identified as a member of an Organised Crime Network (OCN) linked to supply of “large amounts of class A drugs” throughout North East London and surrounding counties.

A Met Police spokesperson said that Warner was the sole user of two encrypted EncroChat mobile phones between April and June 2020.

Officers, the spokesperson said, raided Warner’s address in Romford and recovered “two high value watches”, along with a mobile phone that was linked to EncroChat data.

Messages on the phone revealed that Warner was working with others “to purchase multiple kilos of Class A drugs”. He had made a payment of £20,000 for drugs previously supplied as per evidence, and later directed others to collect and deliver these on his behalf.

Warner was arrested on Wednesday (March 29) and was charged relating to drug offences.

He pleaded guilty during the court hearing on September 4 to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and heroin), and conspiracy to possess criminal property (money).

Danny Young, Detective Inspector from Operation Eternal in Specialist Crime, said that Warner “arranged large-scale” drug deals to make “as much money as possible” with no regard to the “misery and devastation” caused by drug supply.

He added: “The drugs trade relies upon exploitation and violence to operate, and we will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved, and put them before the courts.”