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A man who was arrested after investigators identified him thanks to a UFC mural in his home has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison, UK authorities said.
Ryan Palin, 36, was sentenced Friday to 29 years behind bars for conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs in an international drug trafficking ring, Merseyside Police said.
These drug charges include conspiracy to supply cocaine and amphetamine.
Palin was initially arrested in December last year when police executed a warrant at his home in Wirral, after they found an image of a mural of UFC superstar Conor McGregor on an encrypted phone used to sell drugs.
Investigators were combing through devices that used a mobile encryption service, commonly known as Encrochat, when they noticed the unusual detail.
Officers said the wall the mural was painted on was a wall located in Palin’s residence.
Palin was subsequently arrested, charged and sentenced.
“We welcome today’s verdict and sentence,” said Merseyside Detective Sergeant Graeme Kehoe. “Now that Ryan Palin is behind bars, [he] can no longer peddle huge amounts of drugs and misery on the streets of Merseyside and beyond.”
The police who executed the warrant also found luxury clothing valued at over $166,000 and high-end watches valued at over $157,500, which they seized.
“Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Palin chose to go to trial. Fortunately, the jury saw through his lies and Palin can now consider the consequences of his actions while he serves a significant time in jail,” Kehoe added.
He continued: “Palin’s substantial sentence should serve as a stark warning to anyone involved in this criminality that there are serious consequences. We simply won’t let people live off the profits of criminality while our law-abiding communities work hard to make an honest living – we will find you and bring you to justice.”
Merseyside Police said they will continue to search for drug-related activities in their local community and urged people to come forward with any information that could assist them.