EncroChat dealer 'Weary Dog' stashed cannabis in his nan's house

Phillip Lam
Phillip Lam -Credit:Merseyside Police

A drug importer known as "Weary Dog" stashed cannabis in his nan's house.

Phillip Lam plotted to smuggle hundreds of kilos of illicit substances into the UK with weekly shipments from Spain. He also stood to make profits in the region of £10,000 per week as the head of a "criminal business" which trafficked wholesale quantities of heroin and cocaine.

Liverpool Crown Court heard today, Friday, that the 33-year-old used the handle "WearyDog" on encrypted communications platform EncroChat. Messages revealed when the network was infiltrated by the French police during 2020 showed his involvement in the supply of 24kg of cocaine, 6kg of heroin and 158kg of cannabis.

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Alex Langhorn, prosecuting, described how Lam, formerly of Taggart Avenue in Childwall, also discussed the importation of 318kg of the class B drug and the setting up of a grow with the expectation of yielding up to 10 kilos per crop. He added: "He used others to store and deliver drugs, and even has some cannabis stored at his nan's house."

The dad-of-two was said to have "started out as a junior partner" in the smuggling of drugs from Spain, but went on to arrange shipments amounting to hundreds of kilos using contacts in Central Europe. Lam, now of no fixed address but originally from Dingle, has a total of eight previous convictions for 14 offences.

Damien Nolan, defending, told the court: "He has not sought to invite me to make ambitious submissions about the evidence. He does not seek to quibble around.

"It does appear that he has applied himself diligently to work within the prison. His partner is going to have difficulty bringing up their children with their particular difficulties."

Lam admitted conspiracy to evade the prohibition of the importation of cannabis, conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis and conspiracy to produce cannabis. Appearing via video link to HMP Lindholme in Doncaster, he shook his head and put his face in his hands as he was jailed for 16 years and eight months.

Sentencing, Judge Gary Woodhall said: "It is clear that you were dealing in multi kilogram quantities of cocaine, diamorphine and cannabis. You conducted business with multiple other EncroChat users and drug dealers.

"These were multiple kilogram exchanges of drugs at a time. You imported cannabis from the continent, including from Spain. You spoke about having a system of weekly importations. It was clearly lucrative and regular.

"You also arranged the setting up of a cannabis farm and spoke of making £10,000 in profit per week. You even used your grandmother's house to store cannabis as part of this criminal enterprise.

"Your imprisonment will have a real impact on your children growing up without their father and your partner having to single parent those children. It is trite to say it, but it is true - you should have thought about your family before you embarked upon this criminal offending.

"What is clear is that you have caused shame and anxiety for your family. Positively, since you have been remanded into custody, you have applied yourself diligently and positively.

"This was your conspiracy, with you at the top. This was your criminal business."

Merseyside Police told the ECHO that Lam was identified as the user of the Weary Dog handle as it had been saved as "Lammy" in the phones of his associates. He also mentioned his children's names in his messages and referenced his partner's upcoming milestone birthday and the fact that he would be wanted by the force due to his impending trial for fraud offences.

Detective Sergeant James Boardman said following the hearing: “Lam’s criminal activity to conspire to flood the streets with drugs was prolific and he pleaded guilty to this. Our work continues to detect and arrest those involved in the sale and distribution of class A and B drugs.

"I hope it sends a strong message to perpetrators that we are taking action and we will bring them to justice. I think this sends a clear message to criminals that crime doesn’t pay

"We’ll continue to be relentless in our pursuit of offenders. I would ask anyone who has any information about who is supplying or selling drugs in their area to contact us so we can take action."

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