[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Prison for city crack traffickers
Cheddi Cummings and Junior Reid
Cheddi Cummings and Junior Reid flooded Aberdeen with drugs
Two crack dealers have been jailed for a total of 12 years for selling Class A drugs in the north east of Scotland.

Cheddi Cummings, 29, and Junior Reid, 27, helped flood Aberdeen with hundreds of thousands of pounds of crack cocaine and heroin from their base in London.

Jamaican Cummings and Reid were jailed for seven years and five years respectively at the High Court in Glasgow.

Grampian Police said the pair caused misery for many families.

Cummings was the major player and Reid a trusted henchman in the Magnus drugs syndicate which came to the attention of Grampian Police during Operation Blaven, an investigation into English-based gangs who trafficked drugs to the north east of Scotland.

They had previously admitted being involved in the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine in the Aberdeen area.

Those making vast profits from the misery of others hardly even set foot in the city
Det Supt Alan Smith
Grampian Police

Officers involved in the operation seized about 1m of crack cocaine - more than 10 times the amount seized in the rest of Scotland combined.

Cummings was a Jamaican national who came into the UK about three years ago and quickly assumed an identity for himself. He had overstayed his six month visa granted in May 2005.

Det Supt Alan Smith, of Grampian Police, said his officers had carried out many months of painstaking intelligence and surveillance work before they could arrest Cummings and Reid at a flat in Peckham.

He added: "During Operation Blaven, it became clear that one particular group, known as Magnus, was by far the best established. Their supply of heroin and crack caused misery and blighted many lives across the north east of Scotland.

"They used trusted associates to run drugs into Aberdeen, where they were sold on through a complex network of local sub-dealers designed to protect those at the top of the chain down south.

"Indeed those making vast profits from the misery of others hardly even set foot in the city and the local dealers had no idea of the identity of the men at the top."

'Vast profitability'

Det Supt Smith said the syndicate had no impact on life in London, but caused massive suffering on the streets of Aberdeen.

He added that the north east's crack cocaine problem was "unique" in Scotland.

"Aberdeen and the north east of Scotland have been targeted by drugs syndicates because of vast profitability - a rock of crack cocaine can double or triple in price compared with London or the West Midlands and a thriving sex industry is commonly linked to drug dealing", he said.

The syndicate's operation in Aberdeen was run from a number of flats across the city, particularly two in George Street and Great Western Road.

The real powers behind the throne will readily sacrifice bit part players to save themselves
Donald Findlay QC

Drug runners employed by the gang were often sent from Aberdeen to London by train, sometimes taking bundles of cash for delivery down with them.

The drugs they were given for the return journey were covered in vinegar to disguise the smell.

Donald Findlay QC, appearing for Cummings, said his client had been drawn into the drugs operation by the lure of easy money.

He said that people like Cummings who front such organisations were inevitably caught and added: "Those who direct and control are often not even in this country. The real powers behind the throne will readily sacrifice bit part players to save themselves."

A third member of the syndicate, Reid's girlfriend, Samantha Barclay, 24, was jailed last month for two charges of being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Footage of Grampian police drugs raid



SEE ALSO
Crack cocaine worth 1m recovered
23 Jan 07 |  North East/N Isles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific