Dealer at centre of drugs web warned he faces lengthy jail sentence

A man described at Lerwick Sheriff Court as a “lynchpin” at the centre of a drugs web was warned to expect a prison sentence when he appeared on Wednesday.

Andrew McAlister, 46, a prisoner on remand in Aberdeen, had sentence deferred for two weeks for social inquiry reports. He had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin on or between 1st January 2008 and 4th September 2009 at Hardbrakes Place, Dunrossness, and elsewhere in Shetland.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that police had searched McAlister’s home at Hardbrakes Place on 4th September as a result of an intelligence led operation against an organised crime group targeting Shetland with drugs.

In the search 20 grammes of heroin with a street value of £2,800 was found, along with £3,270 in cash and items relating to the supply of drugs – mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, tick lists indicating hundreds of pounds worth of drugs sold. Additionally bank deposit slips of money paid into accounts not held by the accused but believed to be of an individual at a high level in an organised crime group on the mainland were found. Since June 2009, £13,000 has been paid into these accounts.

McAlister admitted to police on tape that he was the accountant for the syndicate. He would gather money from them and then source £3,000-£4,000 of heroin in Aberdeen. He said he would rather not give details for fear of being knee-capped.

As another result of the intelligence police found a “dealer quantity” of heroin in another house that was found by chemical analysis to be indistinguishable from that in McAlister’s.
Sheriff Graeme Napier said McAlister had been at the centre of the “web”, and was told to expect a “significant length of custody” because of the level of his involvement.


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