He made it too cheesy for cops.
A British drug dealer was busted after he shared a photo of his hand holding a block of cheese — and police were able to analyze his fingerprints.
Carl Stewart, 39, of Liverpool in northwest England, sent a picture of a block of mature blue Stilton he picked up in the upscale British retail chain, Marks & Spencer, Merseyside police said.
He had sent the photo on an encrypted messaging service called EncroChat — where he used the handle “Toffeeforce” to peddle cocaine, heroin, DMA and ketamine, cops said.
“His palm and fingerprints were analyzed from this picture and it was established they belonged to Stewart,” Merseyside police Detective Inspector Lee Wilkinson said in a statement Friday.
The cheese-loving drug dealer was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin, MDMA, ketamine and transferring criminal property — and Merseyside police hope he cheddar have learned his lesson.
“This should serve as a stark warning to anyone involved in this criminality that there are serious consequences,” Wilkinson’s statement continued.
Stewart’s bust comes as arrests are continuing across Merseyside as part of the ongoing Operation Venetic — billed as the UK’s largest-ever law enforcement operation into organized crime, police said.
About 60,000 users of EncroChat have been identified worldwide, with roughly 10,000 in the UK.
All of its users were involved in the coordinating and distribution of drugs and money, as well as money laundering operations, Merseyside police said.
The UK’s National Crime Agency has said the encrypted messaging service was used exclusively by criminals prior to being infiltrated by police last July.
Operation Venetic began in 2016 and led to 746 arrests, the seizure of $68 million in cash and more than 2 tons of drugs, NCA officials previously said.
Merseyside police have arrested more than 60 people as part of the probe, many of whom have been charged with drug trafficking or firearms offenses, Wilkinson said Friday.
“This year will see a number of these people continuing to appear before the courts, and we welcome each and every one,” Wilkinson said.
Stewart’s pseudonym of “Toffeeforce” on EncroChat, which shut down last summer, was a reference to the Everton football club, the Guardian reported.
UK drug dealer’s cheese photo leads to his arrest – New York Post