Operation Saracen

An investigation into an organized crime gang suspected of conspiring to supply large quantities of class A drugs from the West Midlands to Lincolnshire.

Operation Saracen


Analysts from East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) in the UK used Chorus to tackle a class A drugs case and bring 15 offenders to justice. Over a 9-month period, Chorus worked closely with EMSOU to interpret masses of cell phone and cell site data, as well as undercover surveillance data, to obtain the evidence to charge the conspirators.


East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU)


Law Enforcement

Products Utilised

A single event sequence would typically take 1.5 days to produce manually. We were able to complete 8 per day using Chorus - 126 in total.

EMSOU Analyst

Case Timeline

The crime

Investigation launched into an organized crime gang suspected of transporting and dealing class A drugs.

Phone seized for Chorus processing

A seized phone from a known associate confirms a key suspect was supplying drugs. Chorus was able to detect and attribute patterns between ‘clean’ and ‘business’ phones to identify an organized crime gang structure.

Chorus combines data to detect connections

Multiple data types were merged and sequenced within Chorus that revealed all business cell phones were linked to a main suspect, who was controlling three drug lines across the East Midlands. Additional data was overlaid with the call data, including hire vehicle tracking and ALPR to reveal a pattern of travel behaviour. Chorus was able to map the start location, pick up point and drop off location of drugs.

The arrest

Surveillance assets on the route arrested one suspect for possession and the subsequent fallout communications led to other phone numbers being attributed to more couriers.

With gang members in custody and interviews completed, EMSOU had 4 weeks to serve evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Gathering evidence for court

Analysts had 4 weeks to provide the CPS with event sequences, mapping and attribution schedules. 

Using Chorus, a master directory was created that was used to identify all activity from all gang members involved. This included:

  • 1.4 million lines of data processed 
  • 87 phones attributed to 15 individuals
  • 126 call schedules produced
  • 219 evidential maps produced to illustrate the gang and drug movements

The trial

Whilst in court, the defence disputed the possession of one device. The prosecution had two hours in which to prove otherwise. Chorus was able to be used live to refute the defence’s claims about an attributed phone.

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The Results

  • Due to the overwhelming evidence presented, all 15 defendants pleaded guilty before trial
  • 96 years total jail time for Organized Crime Gang
  • 17kg of cocaine and heroin removed from the streets