Episodes
Video Extras
ArticlesLinks
More
Back

A Drug Dealer Has Been Caught Blue (Cheese) Handed

Whether you’re a food blogger, a millennial out for brunch on a Sunday or a criminal who has just trafficked a significant quantity of drugs, we all love taking photos of food.

This is particularly true for Carl Stewart, a UK man who has just been convicted of supplying large amounts of Class A and B drugs, and he might’ve gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for his love of cheese.

You see, Mr Stewart took a photo of himself holding up a packet of beautiful mature blue stilton from Marks & Spencer, and decided to share the photo with some mates in a group chat. Except, the group chat he was using was a little bit different. It’s called EncroChat and it's notoriously used by criminals to sell drugs and weapons, something the local police in the UK are well aware of.

It seems Mr Stewart might have been, as is colloquially termed, ‘dogged’ by one of the boys in the group because police officers were able to get their hands on the photo of him getting his hands on that cheese. Impressively, the police were then able to identify his fingerprints from that photo and use that to get a conviction. Hopefully, one of the officers taking his mugshot was clever enough to quip ‘say cheese!’

Unlike Swiss cheese, there were no holes in the prosecutor’s case. Mr Stewart might have gotten a good price on the stilton, but unfortunately for him it has come at the cost of 13 years and six months of his freedom after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin, MDMA and ketamine, as well as transferring criminal property. We can only presume he could not camembert to hear the sentence.

It’s not the first time a criminal has been identified from a picture of their hands. According to The Guardian, in 2010 a British man was convicted of handling stolen goods after officers found a photograph of him holding stolen watches – which is pretty strong evidence when you’ve been charged with handling stolen goods.

More recently, in 2018 Welsh police secured 11 convictions from an image of a man holding ecstasy tablets. The point is, if you’re a criminal, stop taking photos of your hands, especially if they’re holding something illegal like stolen jewellery or drugs.

Criminals really have to be smarter if they want to get away with their crimes or, in Mr Stewart’s case, they have to at least be lactose intolerant.

Main image: Merseyside Police.