Evening Telegraph (First Edition)

Duo jailed for being part of £1.3m drugs operation


A DRUGS boss teamed up with a “surveillan­ce” expert to carry out a massive £1.3 million drug traffickin­g operation across Dundee, Fife, Kinross and Aberdeen.

James Paterson, 34, and Ian Sweeney, 51, are now behind bars after a lengthy trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Paterson latterly lived in a flat in the city’s upmarket Park district and was able to own Rolex watches, holiday in Dubai as well as afford spending sprees in designer shops.

Sweeney was a former Barras Market street trader who later set up his own counter surveillan­ce firm.

His “skills” played a vital role in the crime to aid Paterson.

Paterson was arrested in December following an investigat­ion which saw the recovery of cocaine and heroin with a street value of £1.3 million, along with £55,000 in cash from his criminal network.

He was found guilty of four charges – being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin, directing others to “commit a serious offence” as well as money laundering.

They spanned between 2015 and 2016 and listed a number of locations including Dundee, Kinross and Aberdeen as well as Chryston and Cumbernaul­d, North Lanarkshir­e.

Paterson – previously jailed for a drugs offence – was sentenced to a total of 14 years behind bars.

Lord Fairley told him: “You directed others as part of the operation. You were the controllin­g mind of it.

“This was an operation of traffickin­g class A drugs on an industrial scale in which you played a leading role.

“Even using the minimum values of the drugs recovered, the evidence suggested a total value of cocaine of £850,000 and heroin of £100,000.”

Sweeney, of Salsburgh, North Lanarkshir­e, was jailed for five years after he was found guilty of a charge of using technology to carry out counter surveillan­ce measures on behalf of Paterson.

Jurors returned a not proven verdict on an accusation that he was in possession of £27,640 of dirty money.

Sweeney had previously been convicted at the high court in 2010 of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Lord Fairley told him: “On the evidence, (the charge) consisted of two matters.

“On November 22 2016, you helped Paterson track down the location of a mobile phone connected to someone who owed him money.

“On November 23 2016, you then issued directions to (another man) as part of Paterson’s ongoing drug operation.

“Those who agree to become involved in serious and organised crime play an integral part in the drug dealing operations of those they serve.”

Both had denied the accusation­s during the trial.

Mobile phone evidence played a crucial role in securing the conviction­s.

A number of incriminat­ing devices were discovered at Paterson’s former home, but he denied they had anything to do with him.

Jurors at the high court heard how Paterson splashed the cash around this time.

This included owning a £9,750 Rolex watch and being able to buy items from the Louis Vuitton shop during a break in Dubai.

Sweeney also gave evidence during the trial. Jurors heard how he had previously earned “tens of thousands of pounds” from selling Blackberry phones as part of his business.

He said Paterson had only got in contact with him to try and track down a friend’s son who had gone missing.

Sweeney’s KC Thomas Ross put to him: “Your understand­ing was that the friend was trying to locate his son. As you understood it nothing at all in enabling serious organised crime?”

He replied: “No, never the intention.”

Sweeney denied issuing orders for Paterson claiming the man he was in touch with was someone he knew from “selling a couple of Sky TV boxes” to.

A number of others listed by prosecutor­s as having been “directed” by Paterson have previously been jailed at separate court hearings.

Speaking after yesterday’s sentencing, Detective Inspector Julia Ogilvie, of Police Scotland’s Organised Crime Unit, said: “Lives and communitie­s are ruined by drugs and these men had no thought for the misery they caused.

“They were intimidati­ng and greedy, caring for no one but themselves. Now following a long investigat­ion carried out by dedicated officers they have been brought to justice.”

She added: “I would like to pay tribute to the hard work carried out by the investigat­ion team that has taken these criminals off the streets.”

HUNDREDS of young musicians from Dundee schools performed the first of the Spring Concerts.

Around 350 pupils from all Dundee secondary schools and most primary schools are involved in the two-day event held at the city’s Caird Hall.

The first concert took place last night and tonight an audience will enjoy the second part of the event, with different performanc­es and musical groups.

Family members and friends are invited to watch performanc­es from the junior concert band,

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 ?? ?? OFFENCE: James Paterson was sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison.
OFFENCE: James Paterson was sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison.
 ?? ?? The trial took place at Glasgow High Court.
The trial took place at Glasgow High Court.
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