Police identified Elliot Morris through his fingerprints in this photograph.
drug dealer – who boasted about his supply over WhatsApp – was arrested in a pioneering police operation after being traced by his fingerprints from a picture.
Redditch kingpin Elliot Morris was caught after he used the service to offer Class A drugs to users in South Wales.
In a police first, detectives were able to identify Morris using fingerprint identification taken from a picture sent via the messaging app – the BBC reports.
Last month, Morris, 28, was sent down for eight-and-a-half years when the image sealed his links to a plot to supply drugs to a town in Wales.
Elliot was also linked to the supply of “huge amounts” of ecstasy when South Wales Police enhanced a mobile phone picture of a hand holding a number of tablets and fingerprint experts identified it as belonging to Elliot Morris.
Now in an interview with the BBC, Detective Inspector Dean Taylor told how police used technology to smash the supply chain.
“It was one of those moments, where we were just looking at the picture and one of the officer’s said ‘there’s part of a fingerprint there,” he said. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Read more here.
How does ecstasy kill?
Most people are under the impression drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, but a drug’s legal status isn’t necessarily related to relative danger. In fact, drugs are much more dangerous because they are unregulated, manufactured by backyard chemists in clandestine laboratories.
Unlike alcohol, which is a highly regulated drug, there’s no way to tell how potent illicit drugs are or what’s in them, unless you test them.
In Australia, what is sold as ecstasy may contain a lot of MDMA or very little. Pills can contain other more dangerous drugs that mimic the effects of MDMA, and benign substances, such as lactose, as filler agents.
A recent report on findings from Australia’s first official pill testing trial at the Groovin’ the Moo music festival last year, found nearly half the pills tested were of low purity. Some 84% of people who had their pills tested thought they had bought MDMA but only 51% actually contained any MDMA.
Some of the more dangerous contaminants found in pills include PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine), which is more toxic at lower doses than ecstasy; N-Ethylpentylone, a cathinone which is a lot more potent than MDMA making it easier to take too much; and NBOMes (N-methoxybenzyl), which is more toxic at lower doses than other hallucinogenic drugs and can cause heart attack, renal failure, and stroke.