He knew the game was up so tried to flee to Malaga but it didn't go to plan

A mugshot of EncroChat drug dealer Gary Gain
-Credit: (Image: Merseyside Police)


An EncroChat drug dealer who operated the handle "StableWorld" was arrested at Liverpool John Lennon Airport attempting to board a flight to Malaga with £8,000 in cash.

Gary Cain, 45, was arrested at the airport on July 12 2023 trying to travel to the Spanish city under a false name. Holly Menary told Liverpool Crown Court this morning, Wednesday, June 19 that Cain's role in an EncroChat conspiracy was uncovered as part of Merseyside Police's response to Operation Venetic - an international operation targeting criminals using the encrypted messaging platform.

Cain, who was attributed the use of encrypted phone "StableWorld", was arrested with £8,000 in cash, €200 and an expensive Rolex watch. This was despite Cain, formerly of Bold Street in Liverpool's city centre, claiming in 2020 that he was struggling for money and had to borrow off people to help buy a car. Analysis of the EncroChat handle, made available following the hacking of the network in April 2020, showed Cain was concerned in the supply of cocaine on a number of dates, including on April 4, 8 and 26.

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He was also concerned in the supply of heroin on April 25 and 27 and in multi-kilo quantities of amphetamine, including with EncroChat handle "RoyalCleaner," who was unmasked as Philip Glennon earlier this year. Following his arrest in July last year, Cain was interviewed and replied no comment to all questions.

However, detectives were able to uncover a number of links between Cain and the "StableWorld" handle. These included how other handles had saved "StableWorld" in their own phones as "Gary Cain" and "GC" and that the password for his device was the full name of his own son.

The court heard the EncroChat hack allowed investigators a "snapshot" into the conspiracy which spanned six weeks in 2020. Cain was described as playing a significant role in the conspiracy, acting often as a middleman and taking a cut of the profits. Cain had one previous conviction for drug offences in 1997 and most recently was before the courts in 2014 where he was sentenced to 42 months for robbery.

He entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin at his plea and trial preparation hearing and to the supply of amphetamine at a further case management trial. A trial of issue later determined that Cain had supplied 7.5kg of cocaine, 0.5kg of heroin and 48kg of amphetamine.

In brief mitigation, Julian Nutter, defending, told the court some EncroChat cases heard involved "metric tonnes" of drugs, while his client was involved in a relatively small conspiracy in comparison. Mr Nutter said his client was "a minnow, not a large con" and asked for the inevitable immediate custodial sentence to be justified.

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Charlotte Crangle said Cain "traded in desperation and destitution because of his own greed". She said: "Drugs wreak havoc and destroy lives, and cause drug addicts to resort to crime to feed their addictions." Judge Crangle told Cain that his part in the wider drug conspiracy came as a result of him "seeking to establish a round of drug dealing that you previously had done".

Judge Crangle told Cain: "You thought you were invincible holding an EncroChat phone thinking you were safe and sound. There would be no hiding for your dealing." Allowing credit for his guilty pleas and taking into account the impact his sentence would have on his family - despite adding Cain had chosen his criminal lifestyle - Judge Crangle sentenced him to 10 years, six months in prison. Cain, who appeared via video link wearing an Under Armour tech t-shirt, did not react as he learnt his fate.

Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Peter McCullough said: "Cain, like many criminals before him, thought he could evade detection by using encrypted devices. But thanks to those networks being compromised, and some useful information provided by Cain himself, he will now serve a long prison sentence.

"We work relentlessly to prevent criminals from targeting the vulnerable people in our communities with illicit drugs. Key to this can be information from those communities who most feel the harm and I would encourage members of the public to contact us if they have any information which could assist."

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