Cocaine dealer gets four and a half years in jail

Barry Graham was jailed at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
Barry Graham was jailed at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Police found a sophisticated cocaine operation when they searched a bungalow in a quiet Bothwell street.

Their suspect was already under investigation for “orchestrating” drug supply in Lanarkshire from a prison cell.

Barry Graham (28) was jailed for four and a half years at Hamilton Sheriff Court after he admitted two charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

The court heard that during their investigations police officers seized more than £13,000 from his mother’s house in East Kilbride.

Lauren McRobert, prosecuting, said Graham and his girlfriend were in a bungalow in Shelley Drive, Bothwell, which was searched by police in October 2013.

It’s understood officers went there initially in connection with an inquiry into a stolen vehicle. Graham, who owned a carwash, was charged with reset, but this was dropped during last week’s hearing.

Ms McRobert said officers returned to the property with a drugs warrant. They searched an adjoining garage and uncovered equipment used to prepare and package cocaine.

A large bowl, electric food mixer, sieve and spoon all had traces of cocaine. Also seized - from a safe - were bags containing benzocaine and caffeine which are added to cocaine before it is packaged and sold.

Presses and a mould used in the packaging process were also recovered, along with £280 and a note with names and numbers on it, commonly known as a drugs tick list. A blue jotter had Graham’s name on it.

Ms McRobert told the court: “It’s the Crown’s position that the items seized are used in the production and supply of cocaine.”

The prosecutor went on to describe how prison officers suspected Graham of overseeing his drugs business while behind bars.

He was jailed for six months in December 2012 and officers at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian were monitoring his phone calls.

The police were informed and recordings of his calls were handed over.

Ms McRobert said: “Police ascertained that from prison Graham was orchestrating the supply of controlled drugs and earning money from it.

“He could be heard instructing family members and associates to collect and deliver drugs. He used codenames such as Gucci and ‘milky one’ which refer to cocaine and spoke of a ‘carton of milk’ which is code for a kilo of the drug.

“He also referred to ‘squaring up’ which is a term used to describe pressing blocks of cocaine.”

As a result of information gleaned from phone calls, police got a warrant to search the home of Graham’s mother in St Leonards, East Kilbride. They seized £13,100 in mixed notes.

A tick list recovered from the home of one of his associates gave details of drugs transactions running into thousands of pounds. Graham’s fingerprints were found on that sheet of paper. Another £1,390 in mixed notes was recovered from his mother’s house.

Sheriff Shiona Waldron said she had to take a serious view of the two charges.

Graham was jailed for 18 months on the charge relating to the Bothwell raid, but the sheriff said he will serve three years for his prison drug dealing and that will run consecutively, making a total of four and a half years.