Man who hid thousands in cash from drug deal profits in relative’s homes jailed for six years

A man with links to serious organised crime who used the homes of family members to conceal thousands of pounds made from drug deals has been imprisoned for six years.

James Clark, 37, of Glasgow, also deposited money into a child’s bank account which, at one stage, contained funds totalling £353,000. 

Clark was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh after admitting being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs and pleading guilty to the culpable and reckless discharge of a firearm. 

He was also made subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order lasting three years. 

Sineidin Corrins, Deputy Procurator Fiscal for specialist casework at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said:  

“This individual was responsible for the supply of drugs on a huge scale, but he failed in his attempts to conceal the money he made from his crimes.  

 “With this conviction, we have dismantled his route for the supply of drugs to the streets and made communities safer.  

“With each case of this kind, we can help reduce the harm that these drugs inflict on Scotland’s communities.  

We will continue to work with our partners as a member of Scotland’s Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce to tackle serious organised crime and this kind of case highlights the extensive work that has been ongoing in this area.”  

The court heard how Clark’s sister alerted police after discovering a suitcase filled with money in her hall cupboard. 

She told officers that the accused had been living at her home for a period following the death of her mother. After inspecting the suitcase, officers discovered it contained 16,000 Euros and £173,000 in Sterling. 

Following the cash seizure, officers then investigated Clark’s financial background and found evidence that he was using the handle “Stoicelephant” on the EncroChat messaging platform favoured by criminals. 

They uncovered covert messages that conclusively linked him to the third-party sale, supply and purchase of controlled drugs, including cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and to deals valued at thousands of pounds. 

A subsequent search of his late father’s house also revealed £12,800 in cash hidden in a shrink-wrapped bag which contained Clark’s DNA. 

Police also carried out a search of Clark’s partner’s house and recovered a haul which included receipts for luxury goods, a quantity of United Arab Emirates currency, a Rolex watch and £32,000 in an Asda carrier bag. 

The court was told that a Royal Bank of Scotland children’s saver ‘mule’ account controlled by Clark had a balance of £353,000 in November 2021. All of the deposits originated from Clark’s personal current account. 

Clark was also convicted of recklessly discharging a firearm at a property in Glasgow in April 2020. 

This charge was aggravated by a connection to serious crime. 

The court heard how messages on EncroChat revealed him discussing plans to buy an automatic assault weapon for between £8,000 and £12,000. 

Clark will now be the subject of proceedings under Proceeds of Crime legislation to recover monies gained through crime.