Birmingham: Three men found guilty of £100k murder plot on orders of Dubai-based drug dealer
Three men are facing jail after being found guilty of plotting to kill a man who owed money to a drug dealer.
Connor Palmer, Craig Miller and Elijah Stokes were all convicted after they were found guilty of arranging a hitman to kill the man in Birmingham.
In May 2020, the partner of the man the men arranged to have killed opened the door to find another man in a Tesco jacket and hi-vis vest.
He asked the woman if she was "expecting a delivery", before adding "he's here, isn't he?" and walking into the house and shooting at the victim.
He was shot five times and taken to hospital, but survived. A child in the house was unhurt.
Palmer, Miller and Stokes, as well as one other, formed a group that was paid £100,000 by the drug dealer, who is now based in Dubai, to kill the man, Birmingham Crown Court was told.
They used £40,000 of the cash to pay the hitman, while Stokes arranged for a car and gun to be delivered to him.
Weeks later, the drug dealer ordered another hit through Miller, sending a photo with the caption "that's him", to which Miller replied: "Clips going in his head."
The attack never took place.
The messages were discovered on EncroChat, an encrypted service used exclusively by criminals, according to the police.
However, the encryption was hacked by international police, meaning messages could be read by investigators.
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Stokes, 38, of Earlsdon, and Palmer, 40, from Surrey, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder, while Miller, 37, from Epsom, was found guilty of two counts of the same charge.
The gunman has never been identified.
Sentencing will take place at a later date.
Detective Inspector Gemma Currie said: "The messages we uncovered as part of this investigation make for truly chilling reading and are like something from a movie.
"It was a miracle that the victim of the shooting in Sheldon survived. It was thanks to the EncroChat breakthrough that we were unable to unravel this conspiracy to murder.
"The gang thought that they were able to communicate securely about their murderous plans, but thanks to the international law enforcement community, we were able to show exactly what they were planning and how they planned it."