Police are tackling ‘drug dealers’
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.”