Two men who were involved in the “industrial scale” production of an illegal drug today agreed to hand over more than pounds 200,000 to settle proceeds of crime actions.
Eric Reid, 48, was jailed for five and a half years for his role in turning out tablets containing the psychoactive substance Etizolam while his co-accused Scott McGaw, 35, was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
When police searched commercial premises in Back Sneddon Street, Paisley, in Renfrewshire, on March 1 in 2017 they found a pill press and a vast quantity of tablets worth in excess of pounds 1.6 million on the streets, along with quantities of adulterants.
Reid, of Johnstone, in Renfrewshire, and McGaw, of Paisley, were later convicted of producing Etizolam tablets, dubbed the Blue Plague, between May 26 in 2016 and March 1 the following year.
Etizolam is a benzodiazepine similar to diazepam or valium and was banned under legislation which came into force on May 26 in 2016.
Lord Burns, the judge who sentenced them after a trial, said: “This drug was being produced on an industrial scale.”
After the pair were convicted of the offence in 2018 the Crown raised actions against them to recover crime profits.
A two-day hearing was scheduled to take place at the High Court in Edinburgh later this week to determine their outcomes.
But lawyers acting for them told judge Lady Poole today that settlements had been agreed in both cases.
Advocate depute Dan Byrne said that in McGaw’s case his benefit from general criminal conduct was agreed at £595,251 and a confiscation order should be made in the sum of £175,855.
The prosecutor said in Reid’s case the benefit from crime was £327,710 and the available amount for a confiscation order was £47,899.
Lady Poole made confiscation orders for the respective sums.
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