How This Photo Of Cheese Put A Man In Prison For Over A Decade

It cannot be denied that cheese is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable substances ever created. Cows help to make it, mice love to steal it, and humans are chronically addicted to it. Yes, really. According to Science Focus, chemicals included in certain brands of cheese provide brain cells with an overwhelming craving for a continuous supply of dairy.

A past study, Independent reports, has even claimed that cheese is as addictive as drugs. This could make the ever-present War on Drugs particularly difficult for law enforcement — trying to interrogate a herd of cows is no easy task.

However, the bizarre idea of cheese being linked to illegal drugs may not be quite so removed from reality as it seems. The reason? A police force in the U.K. was able to apprehend a serious criminal involved in the distribution of massive amounts of illicit drugs after he shared a photograph of himself holding a block of cheese (via The Verge).

The cheesy image came to light after police discovered secret criminal messages

Officers from Merseyside Police (which covers the city of Liverpool and its surrounding areas, according to Merseyside Police) became aware of the cheese-loving Carl Stewart following the unravelling of the EncroChat service (via Liverpool Echo). EncroChat was an encrypted messaging platform used by criminals, but it was infiltrated by police, revealing information on its 60,000 users, as noted by BBC News.

Stewart had uploaded a photo of himself holding a packet of Stilton blue cheese. From the image, detectives were able to decipher the fingerprints of the person holding the cheese, leading them to Stewart (via The Verge).

The drug dealer's penchant for smelly cheese eventually crumbled his defenses. Combining evidence of the cheese image and EncroChat messages, Stewart was found guilty of conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and ketamine. He received a large slice of jail time, being sentenced to over 13 years behind bars, according to Merseyside Police.