A Moray teenager’s growing drug empire was smashed by police after a schoolgirl was rushed to hospital.
Jordan MacKenzie, from Forres, started selling ecstasy and cannabis to friends when aged just 16, before rising through the ranks to establish a network of suppliers.
Drugs sold by MacKenzie – now 18 – eventually made their way into the hands of students of both Elgin Academy and Elgin High School.
When a schoolgirl was hospitalised after taking one of the pills it sparked a major police investigation.
And yesterday, the hotel worker was sentenced to nine months in detention at Elgin Sheriff Court after he admitted two charges of being involved in the supply of illegal drugs between December 2017 and October 2018.
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Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov told the youth he had been motivated by profit when building his network and said his dealing had endangered the lives of others.
She said: “I take note that you are still a young man and you are remorseful but these offences took place over a 10-month period.
“Although it started through your naivety and bravado it grew into a commercial enterprise for your own financial gain.
“It’s fortunate the consequences were not more serious.”
Fiscal depute Alex Swain revealed that ecstasy tablets sold by MacKenzie were known as Sponge Bobs as they bore the face of the popular cartoon character.
A police investigation was first launched after a schoolgirl was rushed to Dr Gray’s Hospital on September 28 last year after she fell ill after taking one of the tablets.
Miss Swain added: “On September 29, a 17-year-old student travelled to Forres and purchased cannabis for £250.
“By this point the inquiry had been passed to police officers. Female students were interviewed and various search warrants were executed.”
The incidents led officers to raid the homes of people connected to MacKenzie before they were directed to the teenager himself.
He had been selling from his Torridon Place home in Forres and at the Doocot Park in New Elgin.
Messages on mobile phones seized by officers revealed the youth had been setting-up deals involving up to 500 pills at a time.
They had been passed to sellers lower down the chain than himself in deals worth several hundred pounds.
MacKenzie’s solicitor, Robert Cruickshank, said his client – a first offender – had made changes to his life since the offences and argued he should not be sent to detention due to his age.
Mr Cruickshank said: “He is 18 years old now but during the libel he was 16 and 17. He has clearly accepted his culpability and responsibility for these actions.
“He is remorseful and is thankful for the ongoing support of his family.”
Sheriff Pasportnikov, however, decided there was no alternative to custody.