Po­lice are tack­ling ‘drug deal­ers’

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Po­lice Scot­land say they are tack­ling drug deal­ing in To­ry­glen after a lo­cal woman al­legedly of­fered to sell fake Val­ium to a jour­nal­ist.

Linda Charleston was ‘outed’ as an ap­par­ent drug dealer by our sis­ter pa­per, the Daily Record, last week after she con­firmed she was able to pro­vide the pills.

The 33-year-old said she could get the un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tor “blues”, the same fake Val­ium pills which have killed six peo­ple in To­ry­glen in the past nine months.

Stephen Prete, 45, and his friends, Margo Welsh, 50, Ar­lene Chap­man, 33, Gra­ham Mur­phy, 43, Christina Craig, 43, and Lizzie Malone, 44, died be­tween April last year and Jan­uary 3.

Tests con­firmed that eti­zo­lam - the dan­ger­ous drug typ­i­cally used in fake Val­ium as a sub­sti­tute for di­azepam - was in the bod­ies of the first three vic­tims.

Mul­ti­ple sources told the Record the other three vic­tims took the fake pills.

The friends and fam­ily of the dead say they have told po­lice who pro­vided their loved ones with the drugs.

On Sun­day, Jan­uary 8, Charleston was on Face­book of­fer­ing to sell drugs. In­ves­ti­ga­tors used a bo­gus ac­count to ask her: “Lookin’ for blues pal, you hold­ing any?”

She replied: “I many” - in­di­cat­ing that she had drugs and ask­ing how much was needed.

They also asked what kind of pills Charleston had and she replied: “Blues”.

But she said they wouldn’t be avail­able un­til the next day, telling the in­ves­ti­ga­tor: “Get you mora but.”

Charleston then got cold feet and back­tracked.

On Tues­day a Daily Record re­porter spoke to Charleston out­side the post of­fice in To­ry­glen where the six vic­tims used to meet.

She said: “I knew a lot of them who died all my life. I went to school with one of them, Ar­lene.

“She wasn’t my pal be­cause she went down the wrong road. I mean, I’d say hello to her and that. I knew Christina all my life. She went about with my big cousin.”

Charleston said she thought the drugs deaths were “dis­gust­ing”. Asked if she has any in­volve­ment with drugs, she in­sisted: “No, no.”

A spokes­woman for Po­lice Scot­land said: “En­force­ment work is on­go­ing in cer­tain ar­eas of Greater Glas­gow fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion re­ceived re­gard­ing drug deal­ing and as­so­ci­ated com­mu­nity con­cerns.

“If you have in­for­ma­tion on drug deal­ing please con­tact your lo­cal Prob­lem Solv­ing Team via 101 or Crimestop­pers.”

Stephen Prete

Ar­lene Chap­man

Margo Welsh

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