Tip-offs to police helped thwart gang which planned to flood Inverness with drugs
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SIX members of a gang caught with £600,000 of cocaine, heroin and Etizolam who planned to flood Inverness with drugs were today jailed for a total of 25 years – thanks partly to tip-offs to the police.
A seventh member's sentence was deferred for further reports
Judge Lord Boyd said: “This was a sophisticated and organised criminal conspiracy and you all played a part.”
Ringleaders Kieran Adams (28) from Clydebank and Stephen Kelly (31) from Glasgow were each sentenced to seven years and six months.
Donald Dunbar (61), Kenneth MacKenzie (25) and Sean Gordon (28), all from Glasgow, were jailed for three years each, and Karen Reynolds (51) from Glasgow was jailed for a year.
Danielle Finlay (30) from Hamilton had sentence on her deferred until December and she was granted bail.
They all admitted being involved in the supply of drugs between November 2018 and March this year.
These charges were aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.
Lord Boyd told Adams and Kelly: “You are the only ones who do not have a dependency on drugs. You directed others and your motivation was wholly financial gain."
The High Court in Glasgow heard that the other accused had drug problems and became involved to pay off drugs debts.
Defence counsel Mark Moir, representing Finlay, said: “She had a significant drug addiction problem and is taking steps to address that. Her involvement in this was acting as a courier on a single day. She had accrued a significant drug debt and had agreed to act as a courier to help pay that off.”
Lord Boyd is considering a non-custodial sentence for Finlay and has called for further reports on her progress.
At an earlier hearing prosecutor Richard Goddard QC said: “This case relates to the large scale distribution of drugs to the Inverness area. The source of the drugs was Glasgow.”
The court heard that Adams and Kelly ran the business and used MacKenzie, Dunbar, Finlay and Gordon as couriers.
The seventh member of the gang Reynolds's Glasgow flat was used to store drugs.
Mr Goddard said: “Adams and Kelly possessed bulk quantities that they would supply to couriers for forward distribution under their direction.
“Both Kelly and Adams were found in possession of significant quantities of controlled drugs. The aggravation of a connection to serious organised crime is the case of the accused, other than Kelly and Adams, is to reflect that the various accused agreed to become involved in the supply of controlled drugs, a crime committed with the intention of obtaining a material benefit.”
The court heard that MacKenzie, Dunbar, Gordon and Finlay were caught following tip-offs to the police. There was also undercover surveillance on members of the gang.
Finlay's Honda Civic car was stopped at Drumnadrochit on January 16 by police.
Finlay, an administrative assistant with Argyll and Clyde Council, was asked if there were any drugs in the car.
She replied: “What's in the car is a long time in jail.”
Drugs with a maximum street value of £151,000 were found in a rucksack on her front passenger seat.
MacKenzie was arrested at Inverness Railay Station on November 20, 2018, and cocaine and heroin was found in his holdall with a maximum street value of £78,200.
Dunbar was stopped at the car park at Travelodge Motor Services Area, Stirling, on December 12 last year. A search of his Peugeot revealed cocaine with a maximum street value of £51,500 and heroin with a maximum street value of £66,400.
Gordon was stopped on the A9 at Tomatin, Inverness on February 5. He had cocaine and heroin with a maximum street value of £99,560 hidden under the boot liner of his Renault Megane.
Adams and Kelly were the subject of undercover surveillance and Kelly was caught in Argyle Stret, Glasgow, with a rucksack containing cocaine and heroin with a street value of £30,290.
A search of Reynolds' flat which he had just left revealed thousands of Etizolam pills with a street value of £105,700 hidden under the bed. Police also found £2300 worth of cocaine.
As police were searching the flat Adams turned up. He fled when he saw the police and while running snapped a SIM card in half and threw a mobile phone to the ground.
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