TWO Glasgow gang members have been jailed for helping to distribute firearms, ammunition and hard drugs with a street value of more than £3 million.

Daniel Lindsay, 49, of Ballantay Quadrant, and Darren Mulheron, 35, of Croftend Road, both Castlemilk, were arrested as part of a crackdown on serious and organized crime in Scotland codenamed Operation Escalade.

Judge Lord Boyd sentenced each of them to seven years in prison.

Armed officers who swooped on the pair in Glasgow Road, Blantyre, last summer seized five Glock handguns, 180 rounds of ammunition and 43 kilos of heroin and cocaine.

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Detectives also recovered £600,000 in cash during the investigation into Scotland’s most powerful crime syndicate allegedly run by fugitive brothers James and Barry Gillespie from a foreign hideaway.

The weapons, drugs and cash were hidden in concealed compartments in numerous vans used by the accused, the High Court at Livingston was told.

Lindsay and Mulheron both pled guilty to being involved in serious organised crime on 6 June 2018.

In addition to handling the weapons and cash, Lindsay pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and Mulheron to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

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Lord Boyd said: "I’m told that this group is at the top of the chain of drug transactions in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

“Serious organised crime is a threat to our society. It targets the most vulnerable and does it using violence – sometimes extreme violence – to further its aims.

“Those who participate in such activity can expect that the sentences which will be imposed by the court will act as a deterrent to others who are tempted to become involved.”

He went on: “I accept that the principal people involved in this business are not before the court and that you were much lower down in the hierarchy. You are both described as being high-level couriers.

“I also accept that once you became involved, distancing yourself from an organised crime group would not be easy.

“Nevertheless without people like you organised crime groups could not exist.”

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Lord Boyd said he was restrained by law to a maximum sentence of 10 years in each case.

He said nine year sentences were appropriate taking into account the value of the drugs, the arms recovered and the large amount of cash but discounted those to seven years, backdated to 8 June last year because they had avoided the need for a trial by pleading guilty.