Man caught after DNA found on Lucozade bottle in cocaine factory

Gary McNeil's DNA was discovered on various items at the property, which housed £290,000 of cocaine.

Man caught after DNA found on Lucozade bottle in cocaine factory iStock

A joiner operating from a home factory containing £290,000 of cocaine was caught after his DNA was found on a Lucozade bottle. 

Gary McNeil’s haul was stored at a property in Glasgow’s Anniesland on December 18, 2020.

The 27-year-old was also involved in adding adulterant to the cocaine to maximise its worth.

McNeil, of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, had been under police surveillance which led officers to his crimes.

A search of the property recovered McNeil’s DNA on items such as latex gloves and a bottle of Lucozade.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, McNeil pled guilty to two charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

The charge is aggravated by connection to organised crime.

The court heard police kept tabs on McNeil and a co-accused from November 24, 2020.

They were seen to enter a close and leave 25 minutes later into a Mercedes carrying a holdall.

McNeil was then spotted emptying the holdall at another location later that day.

The pair were also seen making similar trips in December in a Sprinter van.

The two made several trips to and from the Anniesland address in the area’s Bearsden Road.

McNeil was spotted dropping a bag for life off at a further co-accused’s property before driving off on December 18.

A raid on the property recovered five kilos of cocaine pressed with a stamp number which came from the Anniesland address.

The Anniesland property was raided on March 3 after a warrant was granted.

A variety of drug paraphernalia including scales, a machine press and plates were recovered.

Several bags of white powder and cocaine adulterant were also found.

Prosecutor Craig Murray said: “Lifts taken from the left side of the cooker from the edge of the door were identified from the left middle finger of McNeil.

“A Lucozade bottle, Red Bull can and cigarette ends were sampled.

“An analysis matched the DNA profile of McNeil.”

His DNA was also found on the inside and outside of latex gloves.

Various quantities of cocaine from bags and a box were tested and counted by police.

A total of 58.7 kilos ranging in purity from 38% to 56% were recovered valued at £291,700.

Mr Murray stated: “The cocaine was placed in the rest and pulled on the press to give it a distinctive mark.

“McNeil committed small management functions, he was not a senior manager nor was he at the lowest level.”

Geoffrey Forbes, defending, disputed Mr Murray’s claim stating that McNeil – a joiner by trade – was a “bag carrier” or a “gopher”.

He added: “Mr McNeil was under direction at that time and accepts he was involved in the adulteration side.

“He knew what was being done – adulteration of cocaine and put in bags.

“Mr McNeil claimed he was involved in nine or ten occasions.”

McNeil’s 20 previous convictions contain no drugs offences but he has served an eight-month prison sentence.

Sentence was deferred for background reports by judge Lord Burns until next month.

McNeil was remanded in custody meantime.

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