Dealer jailed for part in drug ring decorated Christmas tree with £20 notes

Liverpool drug dealer was sentenced after lengthy investigation

Liam James
Monday 20 December 2021 21:10 GMT
Christmas tree photo was uncovered in drug gang investigation that found ‘lots of interesting parcels'
Christmas tree photo was uncovered in drug gang investigation that found ‘lots of interesting parcels' (Merseyside Police)

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Louise Thomas

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Police investigating a Liverpool drug ring were surprised to find that one dealer had photos of a Christmas tree decorated with £20 notes and bags of white powder.

Officers from Merseyside Police searched the phone of Marvin Porcelli, 47, from Wavertree as part of Operation Overboard, which targeted a group of drug dealers over the course of a year.

Porcelli pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, diamorphine and cannabis. He was sentenced on Monday to seven years and six months in jail.

Eight other men from across Merseyside were sentenced as a result of the investigation, for a total of 89 years.

Merseyside Police joked about the drug gang on Twitter.

Drawing on the pictures found on Porcelli's phone, officers said: “We caught Porcelli as part of Operation Overboard, which is apt as that’s how we’d describe the Christmas decor snapped on his phone (what’s wrong with a nice spruce with some simple baubles and tinsel?)

“We also caught eight other (un)wise men as part of Overboard and found lots of interesting parcels under the tree (as well as in other parts of their houses), namely drugs worth £1.3m.”

Detective Inspector Paul McVeigh said: “Today’s sentencing of nine men under Operation Venetic and Operation Overboard is a huge success.

“Infiltrating this gang of co-conspirators was an operation in itself, and it is pleasing to see all 11 offenders in this organised crime group jailed for their crimes.”

Sean Burrell, 29, James Wright, 36, Martin McCoy, 42, Michael Joseph, 56, Steven Sinclair, 54, David Conroy, 43 and Kieran Meehan, 30, were sentenced along with Porcelli on Monday.

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