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Police issue drugs warning after pair sentenced

POLICE have reiterated that drugs being brought into Shetland “will not be tolerated” after two local men were sent to prison for attempting to bring nearly £30,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis resin into Lerwick.

Twenty six year old Mitchell Cross and Alasdair Kelly, 28, were both sent to prison when they appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday after they admitted being concerned in the supply of the class B drug between 4 September 2015 and 18 December 2016.

The offence came to light after a botched attempt at bringing the drugs off the NorthLink cargo boat Helliar via a speedboat in Lerwick Harbour in December 2016.

Police Scotland has now commented on the sentencing, praising the work that went into uncovering the operation.

Detective sergeant Bruce Peebles said: “Both men played significant parts in this elaborate, though ultimately botched drug sourcing and dealing operation.

“The recovered drugs were thrown by Mitchell Cross, into Lerwick harbour from a passing vessel, and were then recovered from the water by Alasdair Kelly, before ultimately being recovered by police later that day.

“Painstaking enquiries were carried out involving witnesses, CCTV, travel agencies, local businesses, forensic DNA examination, mobile telephony and national financial institutions, with all of the evidence pointing to the guilt of both the accused in this clearly planned and pre-meditated operation.

“As a result, more than £28,000 worth of Class B drugs was recovered and prevented from being supplied within the local Shetland community.

“This enquiry demonstrated that as well as those based in the mainland of Britain, locally based criminals are also responsible for bringing drugs, on this occasion on a very large scale, into Shetland.

“This will not be tolerated and will be investigated thoroughly on all occasions by the Police in Shetland.”