Conor McGregor mural leads to cocaine kingpin arrest
UK cops scored a sizeable drugs bust recently after a large-scale cocaine dealer was undone when investigators discovered pictures of a unique mural of UFC superstar Conor McGregor in his home which were stored on an encrypted mobile device they seized.
Ryan Palin, 36, was found guilty by Liverpool Crown Court of conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine, heroin and amphetamines after a jury determined that he was the user behind the online moniker 'titch.com' on the EncroChat service.
The mural shows McGregor wearing a crown while sitting on a throne. He is holding a glass of whiskey in one hand and making a gesture indicating 'money' with his other.
This is Ryan Palin, 36, from Caldy who has been jailed for 29 years for his part in a conspiracy to supply 700kg of cocaine, 15kg of heroin and 40kg of amphetamine. He was caught after police linked a distinctive mural of Connor McGregor on his wall at home to an Encrochat device pic.twitter.com/iGMWN8SQhS— CapitalLivNews (@CapitalLivNews) June 20, 2022
EncroChat was an encrypted mobile application used by criminals and organized crime networks which was eventually cracked and infiltrated by European authorities and led to multiple arrests across Europe.
Prosecutors argued that Palin was the person behind the titch.com account after he was found to photographed the McGregor mural in his home in England and sent copies of it to others on the EncroChat network.
Police subsequently discovered the mural in his home upon their investigation. Despite the apparent 'smoking gun' evidence, Palin denied that he was the person responsible for illegalities linked to the titch.com account.
The police raid on Palin's home was conducted on December 9 last year during which they found clothes and jewelry with an estimated value north of $300,000.
Various items such as Rolex watches, designer clothes and Chanel handbags were seized by UK police as part of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
RT @IrishUnity: Excellent new Conor McGregor Mural in Dublin. "We're not here to take part, we're here to take over." pic.twitter.com/uylSFQJUKm— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 24, 2014
Conor McGregor Street Art in Dublin#art#mural#streetart ##UFC194pic.twitter.com/wJb4WHInsl— Street Art (@GoogleStreetArt) December 12, 2015
Palin, meanwhile, was jailed for a total of 29 years for his role in the drug-dealing empire, with local police saying afterwards in a statement that getting him off the streets is a significant boost to the community.
“We welcome the verdict and sentence and now that Ryan Palin is behind bars and can no longer peddle huge amounts of drugs and misery on the streets of Merseyside and beyond," Detective Sergeant Graeme Kehoe said.
Palin will now almost certainly regret his fandom for Conor McGregor, or at least the role it played in his downfall. Several murals of the UFC star adorn walls and buildings in his native Dublin, Ireland - but so far at least, they haven't led to any high-profile drug busts.
McGregor, though, has noted his admiration for at least one other famous drug baron throughout his career after he imitated an infamous photograph of Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman in advance of an (ultimately cancelled) fight with Brazil's Rafael Dos Anjos.