A MAJOR player in an organised crime gang and his sidekick were today jailed for peddling drugs worth more than £400,000 in Barrhead and nearby communities.

Gary Jamieson, who is the brother of Glasgow drug lord Stephen Jamieson, was ordered to spend four years and six months behind bars.

His co-accused, John Mack, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Both men had earlier admitted drugs and organised crime offences after raids found almost 850,000 Etizolam tablets, also known as 'fake Valium' and 'the blue plague.'

A police operation focused on Jamieson, 34, and Mack, 33, heading up a “sophisticated drugs network” involving the manufacture and widespread distribution of Etizolam.

Barrhead News:

There were searches of addresses in Barrhead, Nitshill, Pollok and Paisley, where they recovered 836,000 tablets with an estimated street value of around £420,000.

Mack was arrested in September 2019 and Jamieson in December.

Dad-of-five Jamieson, of Pollok, admitted being concerned in the supply of Etizolam at Divernia Way, Barrhead, Garry Drive, Paisley, Brock Oval and Whitehaugh Road, both Glasgow, and elsewhere between February 27 and December 23, 2019.

Mack, of Glasgow, also admitted being concerned in the supply of the class-C drug at Brock Oval, Garry Drive, Whitehaugh Road and elsewhere between April 11 and December 23 last year.

Both men appeared in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow today to learn their fate.

Judge Lord Mulholland told them: “You both pled guilty to supplying Etizolam in industrial quantities.

“Etizolam is a focus for concern from law enforcement agencies, given its widespread use, particularly in the west of Scotland, and its links to recent drug-related deaths. You have contributed to this problem.”

The pair were snared during an undercover surveillance operation.

Prosecutor Liam Ewing told the court: “This offence reflects Jamieson's command of a branch within an organised crime group. He was responsible for the supply of Etizolam using a network of distributors and dealers to secure the availability of the tablets to street-deal dealers across Greater Glasgow.

“His co-accused John Mack is understood to work for Jamieson as his assistant.”

The court was told that both men used others 'further down the food chain' to get the drug to street dealers.

Jamieson was the target of a surveillance operation, codenamed Operation Blanc, between February and December, 2019.

On April 11 last year, both Jamieson and Mack drove to an address in Paisley, where Mack delivered 16,000 Etizolam tablets, while Jamieson waited in the car.

Five months later, Mack was arrested with a carrier bag containing Etizolam tablets.

A subsequent search of his house revealed significant quantities of the illegal drug.

During a police interview, dad-of-three Mack accepted responsibility for approximately 500,000 tablets and was given bail.

On December 23, he arrived at Jamieson's house in Brock Oval carrying three large cardboard boxes and a carrier bag.

Police seized the items and found 250,000 Etizolam tablets.

Mr Ewing added: “Approximately 836,000 of tablets were recovered in the course of the police operation. If sold individually at 50 pence each, this quantity has a potential street value of approximately £418,000.”

Defence QC Brian McConnachie, representing Jamieson, said his client had three children from his present relationship and another two from a previous one.

He added: “When he stopped working in 2018, he became involved with alcohol and controlled drugs and had a signification cocaine habit.”

As well as jailing Jamieson and Mack, Lord Mulholland also imposed a serious crime prevention order on the pair.

As they were led away to the cells, neither man showed any emotion.