Man, 50, who sold guns to gangsters across Britain using encrypted message system EncroChat is jailed for 19 years
- Michael Derrane, from Northumberland, supplied drugs and firearms to gangs
- Alsi Vata was also jailed for 14 years for trying to buy a weapon from Derrane
A man who supplied weapons to criminal gangs across the UK has been jailed for more than 19 years.
Michael Derrane, 50, from Morpeth in Northumberland, transferred firearms and multiple kilos of class A and B drugs to crime groups for a profit, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The NCA said Derrane used an encrypted messaging system called EncroChat to orchestrate the illegal trades in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, the Midlands and London.
Under the handle ‘Big Corey’ he arranged trips up to 700 miles away to deal the weapons and drugs, according to an NCA spokesperson.
Derrane was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after admitting multiple charges. Another man called Alsi Vata was also jailed for 14 years for trying to buy a gun from the 50-year-old.
Michael Derrane, 50, from Northumberland, has been jailed for more than 19 years for supplying weapons to criminal gangs across the UK
Alsi Vata was jailed for 14 years and three months for trying to buy a gun from Derrane
As part of Operation Venetic, which is a UK law enforcement crackdown, Derrane was arrested in his van in the Tingley area of Leeds on April 22 2020.
Officers seized a gun, ammunition, class B drugs and £6,000 cash.
Derrane admitted conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis.
Vata, from south-east London, was jailed after police found messages on Derrane’s phone from Vata attempting to source a gun.
Derrane wrote in reply to one of Vata’s text messages asking for a firearm: ‘They in Spain until we start sending again I can’t get em you got enough kill someone only need one in right place.’
A gun that was recovered after police arrested Derrane
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