Elliot Hopewell: Jail for Sheffield drug dealer who thought he was "untouchable"
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South Yorkshire communities "can feel safer" knowing a drug dealer is behind bars, a local detective has said.
Elliot Hopewell, aged 40, of Greenwood Avenue, Darnall, used a secret and encrypted messaging platform to deal drugs across the country.
He dealt Class A and B drugs on EncroChat - an encrypted communications platform that made use of modified mobile handsets that are thought to have had their microphones, cameras and GPS systems removed.
Hopewell brokered deals for various drugs, including cocaine, heroin and cannabis, with amounts ranging from 1kg to 5kg.
He acted as a third party by connecting suppliers and buyers depending on where commodities were available, and then sought to make a modest profit for each transaction.
Hopewell was connected to a vast drugs network, with messages from 2020 showing the supply of drugs in various places, including Birmingham, Huddersfield, Wolverhampton and Selston, near Mansfield.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply the Class A drugs heroin and cocaine, as well as conspiring to supply Class B drugs in the form of ketamine and cannabis.
He was jailed for 15 years and five months at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday, November 23.
Hopewell was also sentenced for conspiracy to supply firearms and Class C drugs, with those offences taking place in Northumbria.
Detective Inspector Iain Martin, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "The communities of South Yorkshire and the surrounding regions can feel safer knowing that Hopewell is behind bars for a long time.
"His sentencing forms parts of Operation Venetic - a National Crime Agency-led investigation into the UK takedown of the encrypted communications platform EncroChat.
"Using a nickname on an encrypted platform, Hopewell probably thought he was untouchable and I hope his imprisonment acts as a deterrent to those involved in such crimes."