Six members of a gang caught with £600,000 of cocaine, heroin and Class C pills who planned to flood Inverness with drugs were yesterday jailed for a total of 25 years.
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 each jailed for three years and Karen Reynolds, 51, also from the city, was jailed for a year.
A seventh member, Danielle Finlay, 30, from Hamilton, had sentence deferred until December for further reports and was granted bail.
They all admitted being involved in the supply of drugs between November 2018 and March this year.
The charges were aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.
Judge Lord Boyd said: “This was a sophisticated and organised criminal conspiracy and you all played a part.”
He 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 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.
Reynolds’ Glasgow flat was used to store drugs.
The court heard that MacKenzie, Dunbar, Gordon and Finlay were caught following tip-offs to the police.
Finlay’s Honda Civic car was stopped at Drumnadrochit on January 16, by police.
The administrative assistant with Argyll and Bute 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 Railway Station on November 20 with cocaine and heroin with a maximum street value of £78,200.
Dunbar was caught with £66,400 of heroin and £51,500 of cocaine – street value – in Stirling on December 12.
Gordon was stopped on the A9 at Tomatin on February 5 and cocaine and heroin with a maximum street value of £99,560 was found.
Adams and Kelly were the subject of undercover surveillance and Kelly was caught in Glasgow with cocaine and heroin with a street value of £30,290.
A search of Reynolds’ flat revealed thousands of Etizolam pills with a street value of £105,700 hidden under the bed. Police also found £2,300 worth of cocaine.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector William Nimmo, from the Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit in Inverness, said: “This was a complex investigation which took extensive and innovative inquiry to ensure that those at the top of this crime group faced justice.
“Individuals such as Stephen Kelly and Kieran Adams operate using violence and intimidation, wrecking the lives of people addicted to controlled drugs and that of their families. Profiting from this behaviour is nothing short of despicable and people like this bring nothing but harm to our communities.”
He added: “We will continue to target other like-minded people, wherever they are from, in our efforts to ensure the Highlands and Islands remains an attractive and safe environment to live and visit.
“I would urge anyone with concerns or information about drug dealing not to stay quiet but to pass this on to police or through Crimestoppers. We evaluate and act on every piece of information we receive and community intelligence helps us to thoroughly investigate drug dealers and make them face the consequences of their actions.”