It is generally not a good idea to share your photos online. Especially if you are a drug dealer. Even the very innocent image of a cheese can contain enough personal information to condemn you.
Merseyside police have located drug dealer Carl Stewart (39, Gem Street, Liverpool) and convicted him of trafficking cocaine, heroin, MDMA and ketamine using a simple photo of cheese. We do not know why he posted the photo of the cheese, but Stewart was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to the charges against him.
Stewart seems to have made two mistakes when he posted the photo. The first is that the photo contained a clear image of his fingerprints as well as his palm, which Merseyside Police were able to analyze to identify him. Stewart is not the first criminal to be convicted of fingerprints found in a photo, but it is another reminder that your fingerprints cannot be kept secret.
JAILED | A man identified through a picture of a block of cheese is the latest to be jailed as part of #OpVenetic. Carl Stewart, 39, was sentenced to 13 & a half yrs in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs. Read more 👉https://t.co/Mh9DrsxAR4 pic.twitter.com/2nNZpFdXK7- Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) May 21, 2021
Second, he shared the photo on EncroChat, the allegedly encrypted telephone system that was breached by the authorities last March, so his security had more holes than a Swiss cheese.
Since then, Merseyside police say authorities have identified about 10.000 illegal users in the UK who are "involved in coordinating and planning the supply and distribution of drugs and weapons, money laundering and other criminal activity". A total of 60.000 users have been identified worldwide, according to police.