Encrochat gun dealer jailed after Operation Eternal investigation

A man has been jailed for more than 21 years after tenacious officers dismantled a drugs and firearms operation run through Enrochat in west London.

Samuel Black, 28 (06.05.95) of Ealing, was sentenced to 21 and a half years’ imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on Monday, 9 October.

Between April and June 2020, Black was involved in the supply of at least two firearms, a .38 Revolver and a semi-automatic Walther PPK, and had access to other firearms (9mm Glocks) and ammunition.

He had also conspired with others to supply more than 14.75 kilograms of cocaine, 60 kilograms of ‘skunk’ cannabis and handled around £2 million in cash.

Specialist Crime officers and staff from Met Intelligence were able to review data and attributed the owner of the ‘SAVAGETOPS’ & ‘EUROSANDPOUNDS’ handles as Samuel Black from February 2022.

Detectives from the Met closed in on Black after European partners accessed an encrypted communications network called Encrochat in 2020 – passing data to them via the National Crime Agency (NCA). When the handle was first passed to the Met by the National Crime Agency it was prioritised not only because it was involved in the onward supply of large amounts of drugs but also firearms.

Officers were able to attribute the handle to Black by thorough careful analysis of images of a living room and bedroom which were sent on the Encrochat. In these images Black was counting large sums of money. Black was known to have stayed in the property in 2020 and when they compared the decoration and the layout of the rooms in 2022, they were identical.

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Black’s nickname was ‘crack’ and that is what others called him and how he referred to himself to on the Encrochat network.  He regularly talked about playing his PlayStation 4 and his account username was ‘Crack_west6’. He even shared an image of his TV showing this username.

Black also made the mistake of uploading an image of himself on his Encrochat device.

Detective Inspector Driss Hayoukane, from Operation Eternal in the Met’s Specialist Crime team, said “Black arranged large-scale drug and gun deals to make as much money as possible, with no thought of the misery and devastation he would cause in communities because of the the violence it inevitably leads to.

“Black traded and bought firearms to protect his organised crime network. This investigation has undoubtedly prevented deadly violence that would have seriously impacted communities.

“He believed using encrypted devices rendered him untouchable, and sought to facilitate the most violent of crimes. However, the Met is unceasing in our efforts to target and dismantle the organised criminal networks which seek to blight our streets. Ironically, the steps taken by Black to conceal his operation sealed his fate, presenting us with the very evidence used to convict him.”

Black previously pleaded guilty to the following at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, 21 December 2022:

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  1. Conspiracy to supply cocaine
  2. Conspiracy to supply cannabis
  3. Conspiracy to acquire criminal property
  4. Conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons
  5. Possession of criminal property

Op Eternal leads the way in using precise, data-led policing to target those criminals causing the most harm in London – a commitment made in the Met’s A New Met for London plan. To read more about our plans to tackle violence caused by drugs

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