Drug dealer decorates Christmas tree with £20 notes and bags of white powder

A drug dealer made the unique decision of decorating his Christmas tree with £20 notes and bags of white powder – keeping the festive vibe by topping it off with some tinsel.

Police claim they found the photo on Martin Porcelli's phone after he was arrested following a year-long investigation into a crime gang in Merseyside.

The Breaking Bad-themed tree is believed to be a centrepiece in his home.

"We caught Porcelli as part of Operation Overboard, which is apt as that’s how we’d describe the Christmas décor snapped on his phone (what’s wrong with a nice spruce with some simple baubles and tinsel?)," the force said.

Merseyside Police tweeted yesterday: "We also caught eight other (un)wise men as part of Overboard and found lots of interesting parcels under the tree (as well as in other parts of their houses), namely drugs worth £1.3m."

Nine gang members were yesterday sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to more than 89 years in prison in total.

Detectives discovered four of the defendants using Encrochat on the dark web to attempt hiding their dealings.

Four of the suspects, Sinclair, O’Brien, Conroy and Meehan went to trial but were found guilty by a jury.

The other five offenders pleaded guilty.

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Detectives were able to seize more than £282,500 of cash, firearms and ammunition and a substantial amount of Class A drugs during the investigation at a street value of over £1.3 million.

DI Paul McVeigh said: "Today’s sentencing of nine men under Operation Venetic and Operation Overboard is a huge success.

"Infiltrating this gang of co-conspirators was an operation in itself, and it is pleasing to see all 11 offenders in this organised crime group jailed for their crimes.

"Our officers have worked hard in a year-long investigation to unravel this crime gang, which was under the control of Sean Burrell, who employed criminal associates to further his criminality.

"We have recovered cash, firearms and drugs following searches at addresses.

"The trial of Thomas O’Brien was the first involving Encrochat data in Merseyside, and there have been many more since. Despite him contesting using an Encrochat device his case went to trial, and the evidence against him was so strong that he was found guilty by a unanimous verdict in November.

"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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