Three men with links to serious organised crime who carried out a drug-smuggling operation between Scotland and England have been jailed for a total of 12 years and nine months.
Craig Dineen, David McMillan and Andrew Mullin transported cannabis worth thousands of pounds from south of the border to areas in and around Glasgow.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Dineen, 30, of Renfrew, was imprisoned for six years.
McMillan, 40, of Glasgow, received a sentence of five years and three months and Mullin, 46, also of Glasgow, was jailed for 18 months.
McMillan’s brother Craig, 36, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for drugs offences and a fourth gang member, Stephen Hamilton, 31, was given a community payback order requiring him to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work.
At an earlier hearing, the court heard how Dineen began running the drug-smuggling scheme during the first covid lockdown from the back of a transporter van.
Prosecutors told the High Court in Glasgow that Dineen had been identified as the ringleader of the gang after officers accessed encrypted messages between him and other gang members as part of Operation Juneberry.
Those conversations linked the gang to a haul of controlled drugs and cash totalling more than £2million.
The court heard how Mullin collected a shipment of drugs in June 2021, which had been driven from England before being switched to the transporter van and then moved to a Citroen car.
Police stopped the Citroen, which was being driven by Hamilton, and discovered cannabis with a street value of £122,000.
A month later, surveillance officers stopped the transporter van and apprehended the McMillan brothers and Dineen.
Dineen’s DNA and fingerprints were found on an assortment of drugs paraphernalia seized from the vehicle that day.
The court heard how Dineen displayed his wealth and lived a luxury lifestyle from his life of crime.
He wore expensive watches and designer clothes and drove a Range Rover valued at £97,500.
Kenny Donnelly, Deputy Crown Agent, Specialist Casework, said: “This was a coordinated effort to bring significant quantities of illegal and harmful drugs through Scotland.
“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service worked closely with the police to build a strong case resulting in these convictions and disrupting a network of drug supply.
“As a result, a significant quantity of drugs has been removed from the streets.
“This underlines our commitment to the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce and the country’s Serious Organised Crime Strategy.
“We are targeting all people who threaten communities across Scotland, not only drug couriers but also those who direct their movements. With each case of this kind, we can help reduce the harm these drugs inflict on those communities.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Vicky Watson, head of the Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This seizure undoubtedly caused significant disruption to a large-scale, cross-border supply chain bringing drugs into Scotland.
“Police Scotland will not allow criminals and organised crime groups to profit from other people’s misery. This case is a good example of how we utilise our resources along with the expertise of partner agencies in the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to disrupt this kind of activity.
“We know that individuals and communities are deeply affected by the drugs trade and do not tolerate the harm it brings.
“Anyone who has information or concerns about the sale and supply of drugs in their community is urged to contact Police Scotland via 101. Alternatively, if you would prefer to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”