Five-man Inverclyde drugs gang sentenced to total of 31 years and eight months in prison

Five members of a notorious serious organised crime gang who ran a massive drugs trafficking empire in Inverclyde have been jailed for a total of 31 years and eight months.

Lee Docherty, 37, Ian Millar, 39, Brendan Gillan, 32, his father Daniel Gillan, 60, and Christopher McKellar, 44, pled guilty to being involved in serious organised crime between March and December 2020. 

The High Court in Glasgow heard how the gang controlled the sale and supply of Class A drugs, including cocaine, heroin, cannabis and etizolam, from a heavily fortified property on the Larkfield estate in Greenock. 

But the court heard their activities were ended when French law enforcement intercepted encrypted messages on the EncroChat platform and subsequently passed them to Police Scotland. 

These texts revealed the scale of their drug-trafficking activities which ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Docherty, described in court as the gang’s principal member, was jailed for eight years and Millar, his right-hand man and brother-in-law, was sentenced to six years in prison. 

Daniel Gillan received a six years and four months sentence, and his son was imprisoned for six years. The fifth accused, McKellar, was sentenced to five years and four months in jail. 

The court also agreed to impose Serious Crime Prevention Orders on Docherty, Millar and Brendan Gillan. 

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

 “For years, the criminal activities of these individuals have impacted the everyday lives of many ordinary people in the Larkfield area of Greenock through their significant involvement in serious organised crime. 

“They caused widespread disorder and disruption within the local community through the supply of drugs and their influence on young people. 

“This extended to every facet of the community, from local people living in the area to those who ran shops or businesses. 

“But now, thanks to the efforts of officers within Police Scotland and prosecutors at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), their grip on the local community has been dismantled. 

The court heard how Docherty and his crew ran the drug-trafficking operation from a property in Oxford Road, Greenock, that was known variously as “the shop” or “the trap” and that each of the other accused answered to him. 

Millar was responsible for the movement of controlled drugs between various locations. 

However, EncroChat texts recovered by police officers provided intelligence which ultimately led to the gang being brought to justice. 

The court was told that one text centred on the purchase of valium pills with a street of value of more than £700,000. 

The court heard that a police raid on the property in Oxford Road in December 2020 yielded a drugs haul worth £150,000 as well as £12,775 in cash. 

Ms Corrins added: “The members of this community can now move forward safe in the knowledge that these five individuals will spend a lengthy time in prison having now been brought to justice for these crimes. There are consequences for this type of criminality. 

“We hope these convictions and the sentence send a strong message to others involved in this kind of criminal behaviour and demonstrates the ability of police and prosecutors to investigate, prepare and prosecute serious and organised crime of this nature. 

 “We continue to target all those who threaten communities across Scotland, working as a key part of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to protect the people of Scotland.”  

All five individuals will now also be the subject of confiscation proceedings under proceeds of crime legislation.