Operation Coast

An investigation into one of the largest drug cases in the East Midlands, UK

operation coast

Operation Coast


Analysts from East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) used Chorus to help break a 15 handed national drugs conspiracy intending to supply the UK with over £1m worth of wholesale drugs.


East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU)


Law Enforcement

Products Utilised

Chorus was invaluable for processing and analyzing all the data. Manual processing would have taken several weeks and the additional functionality and speed gave us many options for identifying important details that would have been otherwise impossible to uncover.

Inspector, UK Police Force

Case Timeline

Phone seized of key suspect

A key individual is suspected of a drugs conspiracy with connections to Birmingham, Leicester, Gloucester and Cambridge. Their phone is seized and Chorus uses a contact list to aid the attribution of phones. Messages and keywords are used to identify shipment dates.

Chorus analyzes phone data to highlight key dates

The suspect’s phone data is also used to link with other subjects and identify key supply dates. 

Chorus finds 28 key dates where Class A and B drugs were couriered, including over £1million of wholesale powder being shipped around the UK.

Additional suspects revealed

Chorus analyzed over 300,000 rows of call data records to find that the key suspect used 24 different handsets throughout the conspiracy. 14 other subjects were found to be involved in the case and were also suspected of using clean and dirty phones. 

A breakthrough

Chorus overlaid ALPR data to show travel of courier vehicles on the key dates. This was combined with handset and call data to attribute to certain individuals.

The links revealed substantially raised the scale of the investigation.

The trial

11 of 15 defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A and B drugs. The remaining disputed the co-location of clean and dirty phones and highlighted simultaneous use of phones. 

A 50 page report from a telco expert was then submitted 1 week before trial by the defense. 

However, this was debunked by the investigation team, using Chorus in the run up to the trial. 

Chorus – courtroom ready evidence

Chorus was used on the stand to immediately answer questions from the defense:

  • 31 evidential maps were produced and start and end cells plotted
  • Created an inactivity report to assist in attributing dirty phones
  • Potential meeting report to show co-locating of phones

After 3 days of analytical evidence and cross examination a second key suspect pleaded guilty during trial, a Chorus report proving significant.

The Results

  • Remaining 3 defendants found guilty on majority verdicts
  • £1 million worth of wholesale drugs removed from streets
  • 15 offenders convicted
  • 11 not requiring a trial due to guilty pleas
  • EMSOU Analyst received judges commendation