Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Dealers jailed after 'Wire' sting

Stephen George Jamieson and Brian McCulloch (top) and Stephen Caddis and Gary Caddis (bottom)
(L to R) Stephen George Jamieson and Brian McCulloch (top) and Stephen Caddis and Gary Caddis (bottom)

Members of a multi-million pound Scots drugs gang have been jailed after being caught in a police surveillance sting similar to the TV series, "The Wire".

The High Court in Glasgow heard how officers were able to interpret coded conversations after bugging a car and house belonging to one of the suspects.

Brian McCulloch, Steven Caddis, Stephen George Jamieson and Gary Caddis pleaded guilty to supplying illegal drugs.

They were jailed for 10, six, eight and five years respectively.

The court heard how police initially received intelligence that Jamieson and several others were involved in "high-level criminality".

Cocaine press
A hydraulic press to compact cocaine was found at a flat in Clydebank

The surveillance operation against the men began in December 2007 after officers were unable to gather sufficient evidence to justify prosecutions.

Authority was granted for covert listening devices to be inserted in Jamieson's house in Paisley and his BMW X5 car.

These allowed police to hear coded conversations between Jamieson, Steven Caddis and Gary Caddis involving the purchase, processing and supply of millions of pounds worth of drugs.

When Jamieson sold the car to McCulloch, this allowed police to widen the scope of their investigation.

Expert drugs officers were used to decode the language used by the men.

The court was told how words such as "ticket", "corner" and "Lido" were used to refer to a gram and quarter kilo of cocaine, and the cutting agent Lignocaine.

During the surveillance, police raided properties in Glasgow, Paisley and Clydebank, recovering drugs with a street value of £9m, along with firearms and almost half-a-million pounds in cash.

You (McCulloch) were one of the principals in an organisation running a scheme for large amounts of cocaine
Lord Pentland

Materials to supply drugs, including a hydraulic press to compact cocaine, were also recovered.

The operation continued until all four were arrested on the morning of 4 October 2008.

Jamieson, 26, McCulloch, 39, and Steven Caddis, 30, all from Paisley, Renfrewshire, and Gary Caddis, 28, from Cardonald, Glasgow, later admitted dealing in cocaine.

Jamieson also admitted money laundering by using money obtained by crime to buy three watches worth £10,315.

McCulloch also admitted being involved in the supply of amphetamine and ecstasy between December 2007 and March 2008.

'Principal organiser'

Passing sentence, judge Lord Pentland praised the efforts of Strathclyde Police for its role in apprehending the four men as part of a wider serious crime drive - Operation Lockdown.

"To the police officers involved I offer the appreciation of the court for the skill and diligence with which the operation was conducted," he said.

"A great deal of work has also been performed by the procurator fiscal's office and Crown Office."

Sentencing the gang, Lord Pentland told McCulloch: "You were one of the principals in an organisation running a scheme for large amounts of cocaine."

Operation Lockdown also recovered a number of firearms

He told McCulloch, who had run a building company before entering the drug trade, that he had misused his business acumen.

Lord Pentland told Jamieson that his motivation in the enterprise was financial gain.

Det Sup Colin Field, from Strathclyde Police, who led the operation, said: "These men, who sat at the top of an organised crime group, believed themselves to be above the law - today's sentence proves how very wrong they were.

"This operation has demonstrated that whether you are the king pin, the courier or the person who allows their house to be used for storing drugs or guns for those masterminding an organised crime group, you will all be held responsible."

Property searches during Operation Lockdown recovered drugs and drug-related materials with a street value of £8.8m and £445,000 in cash.

Officers also seized two MAC 10 machine guns, three sawn off shotguns, four shotguns, 11 rifles, eight handguns and 3,400 rounds of ammunition.

Seven cars - including a Porsche and Lexus - were also recovered along with eight top of the range watches.

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