Operation Juryman: Two Defendants convicted and sentenced in Encrochat importation case – Barry McElduff led Harper Marshall for the Crown

May 8, 2024
Harper Marshall

Simon Rooney was jailed for 20 years on 9 April 2024 following a four-week trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Barry McElduff, leading Harper Marshall, successfully secured convictions for Being Concerned in the Supply of Class A to Another (Cocaine), Conspiracy to Encourage or Assist Offences Believing One or More will be Committed, Conspiracy to Supply a Controlled Drug of Class B (Mephedrone) and Supplying a Controlled Drug of Class B to  Another (Amphetamine).

Simon Rooney from Burnley, Lancashire, used the Encrochat handle “Luxuryfall” to communicate with criminal associates and facilitate the importation of £336kg of Tetramisol, a substance commonly used as a bulking agent for cocaine. Assuming that his Encrochat communications would not be intercepted, Mr Rooney shared images of his cars, his partner’s back garden and discussed the renovations he was undertaking during the period of national lockdown.

On 24 May 2020, Border Force officers intercepted 12 chemical drums that had arrived at Heathrow Airport having travelled from Hong Kong, via Istanbul. The drums were found to contain 366kg of Tetramisol. If used in the common ratio with cocaine, this quantity of Tetramisol could represent a wholesale value of c.£47 million worth of the Class A drug. The consignment was attributed to Mr Rooney.

Following a fatal road traffic collision in June 2020, TVP executed a search warrant at Manor Park in Kidlington and recovered 60kg of amphetamine with a street value of c.£600,000. Mr Rooney’s DNA was recovered from the wraps containing the drugs.

TVP investigation officer PC Adam Taylor said, “This is a fantastic result for everyone involved. My thanks go to everybody who has helped in this case. It has not been an easy trial, but I am grateful to the jury for their deliberations which has led to the convictions. Rooney is now serving a lengthy custodial sentence and a significant quantity of drugs have been removed from the supply chain.”

Mr Rooney’s co-defendant, who acted as a ‘runner’ and transported the amphetamine from Burnley to Kidlington, received a suspended sentence.