Gang running 'drugs supermarket' from barricaded flats jailed for 31 years

The Scottish men were caught after French and Dutch authorities cracked the EncroChat phone network.

Gang running ‘drugs supermarket’ from barricaded Greenock flats jailed for 31 years Police Scotland

Five members of a crime gang involved in a major drugs bust at a heavily barricaded block of flats known as “the shop” were jailed for a total of 31 years and eight months.

The gang were caught in 2020 following a raid in Greenock after the French and Dutch law authorities cracked the EncroChat phone network which the gang had been using to organise the trafficking.

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

Judge Lord Mulholland described the “sophisticated crime group” as running a “drugs supermarket” where they used Encrochat phones to communicate with each other.

Docherty was jailed for eight years and given a five-year serious crime prevention order (SCPO).

Drugs seized from the gangCOPFS

Miller was jailed for six years with a five-year SCPO while Brendan Gillan received six years with a three-year SCPO.

Daniel Gillan was jailed for six years and four months while McKeller was sentenced to five years and four months. Both men did not receive an SCPO.

Each member had a “handle” they were known as on the EncroChat network.

Clan leader Docherty used “renegadeball” or “goldenshark”, his brother-in law Millar was known as “sarcasticflamingo”, the Gillans had the names “unrealegg” and “warmhail”, while McKellar had the handle “mrrr-celtic”.

The name “mrr-goldentrapper” was used by different individuals linked to the gang.

The gang were found to be concerned in the sale and supply of cocaine, heroin, cannabis and etizolam in the Inverclyde area, in particular the Larkfield estate.

The advocate depute said a property in the town’s Oxford Road was called “the shop” or “the trap” by the crime crew.

The property was heavily protected by metal doors with the gang having access to the first and second floors of the building affording it a “surrounding view”.

Barricaded door from Greenock crime gang 'drug supermarket'COPFS

CCTV monitors were installed to allow the group to monitor arrivals and police presence.

The court heard Docherty was the “principal member” with a “large network of associates”.

Millar was one of the “most trusted” recruits, Brendan Gillan was involved in the “day to day” running of the crime with his dad giving “advice” on how to run the OCG.

McKellar didn’t live in Greenock, but still played an important role in the drug trafficking.

The gang’s EncroChat communications included discussions on the purchase of £700,000 of street Valium pills. Photos of drugs were also sent.

The gang was also concerned at times at increased police presence during the covid lockdown.

The court heard Docherty sent McKellar a photo of a TV screen at “the shop” describing marked police cars as “rats sitting through nite”.

Various locations linked to the crew were raided on December 15, 2020.

A total of around £150,000 of drugs were seized along with £12,775 in dirty money.

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