Gang selling class A drugs in Ayrshire

A crime group that distributed near to £1 million worth of Class A controlled illegal substances throughout Fife, Tayside, Edinburgh and Ayrshire has been convicted of the sale and supply of drugs.

Stephen Nisbet, with the assistance of his brother James and others, operated a drug empire throughout Scotland from his cell in HMP Edinburgh.

Nisbet, who is also serving a life sentence for murder, will be sentenced at a later date.

Police Scotland worked in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service and Nisbet has since been removed from HMP Edinburgh and is now housed in a different part of the prison estate.

This conviction is the result a Police Scotland covert operation, Operation Lapstone, which has been led by the forces Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit (OOCTU).

The operation ran for seven months and led to the dismantling of a major and established crime group.

Police Scotland said this week that the case emphasises the modern era of policing in Scotland, where a number of police officers have come together from different areas, deploying specialist resources working in collaboration with local community policing teams to vigorously pursue criminals that cause the greatest harm to our communities.

Police Scotland also emphasised that it will continue to act on information received and urge the public to keep working with them to provide information.

OCCTU Detective Chief Inspector Colin Boyle said: “This operation is part of long-term plan to tackle drugs use and supply throughout Scotland.”

“Nisbet and his associates ran a drug empire throughout Scotland. Operation Lapstone did not just disrupt this empire - it dismantled it.

“The sale and use of illegal substances is a scourge on our community and is a top priority for Police Scotland. We will not tolerate this type of anti-social behaviour and we will continue to hold those who peddle drugs in our community to account and bring them to justice.”

Detective Inspector Graeme Naysmith added: “Serious Organised Criminals undermine the efforts of those that are trying to make an honest living.

“Police Scotland can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101 by anyone wishing to pass on information about those involved in organised crime and apparently living beyond their means. Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Stephen Michael Nisbet, James Nisbet, John McMahon, Ronald Harrison and Allan Holland were convicted in the case, David Milne pled guilty to the supply of diamorphine, amphetamine and cocaine and Robert Borland pled guilty to the supply of Diamorphine and the supply of cocaine.

Stephen Nisbet, 40, already serving an 18-year prison sentence for the murder of David James in 2003, was working with his brother James and five other men to distribute Class A drugs. Nisbet, who co-ordinated the crime group’s activities by using a series of mobile phones in his cell, has not yet been sentenced for his latest conviction. All seven men were remanded in custody and Judge Lord Armstrong told theHigh Court that he would adjourn sentencing until next month.