A drugs boss headed a huge cannabis trafficking operation which worked from the back of a van.
Craig Dineen flaunted his wealth from ill-gotten gains including a £100,000 Range Rover.
The 31 year-old teamed up with his partner’s cousin David McMillian, 38, to use his Volkswagen Transporter known as “Div’s van”.
Prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel told the High Court in Glasgow how the vehicle was “integral” to the operation, which started during the first covid lockdown.
She said: “The van had an area which could be accessed by a sliding door and had tinted windows.
“It is thought it was an area where drugs and cash could be stored and checked.
“Dineen would attend periodically to check things from himself.”
But, Dineen was snared when the authorities cracked encrypted messages exchanged between him and associates.
This included chat about more than a ton of drugs and cash totalling more than £2m in just three months.
Dineen and McMillan today/yesterday pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a charge of being involved in a serious organised crime between March 2020 and July 2021.
Locations listed included in the city’s Pollok, Cardonald, Pollokshields as well as Renfrew and Paisley, both Renfrewshire.
Miss Dalziel told how Dineen’s gang was caught during the Operation Juneberry police probe.
He was described as the “principal member” of the crew.
The prosecutor: “He had a lavish lifestyle – often engaging in discussions about high value goods, such as watches and he drove a Range Rover costing £97,500.”
Dineen communicated via encrypted Encrochat messages – the platform favoured by criminals and later smashed by French and Dutch law authorities.
The texts revealed him discussing cash and drugs while also organising couriers and money counting machines.
Wary Dineen was also insisted his “team” only used encrypted phones to keep in touch.
Miss Dalziel: “In the Encrochat messages, there are references to (a total) of approximately 1,100kg of controlled drugs and cash totalling over £2m.
“This figure provides an estimate of the amount of cannabis being supplied and the cash being transferred.
“It is a ‘snapshot’ from the period March to June 2020.”
McMillan’s younger brother Craig was also involved. The 36 year-old was spotted during surveillance handling and packaging drugs in the Transporter van.
The siblings’ cousin Andrew Mullin, 46, was another member.
On June 9 2021, he collected a shipment of drugs which had been ferried from England.
He handed the bags to David McMillan who put them in the Transporter before Dineen also appeared on the scene.
Dineen and McMillan were thought by police to be “checking the quality” of the haul in the van.
The drugs were then put into a Citreon car, which Stephen Hamilton, 31, was caught in just 13 minutes after he had got behind the wheel.
The cannabis in the motor had a potential value of £122,000.
On July 15 2021, police made their move after surveillance in Glasgow’s west end and southside.
A team of officers tried to halt the Transporter van, but David McMillan reversed at speed and drove off, but was eventually caught.
Dineen and Craig McMillan had also been in the vehicle and tried to unsuccessfully escape.
Craig McMillan and Hamilton today/yesterday pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis – the latter on one day only.
Mullin admitted to being involved in serious organised crime, but a lesser role to that of Dineen and David McMillan.
Dineen, of Renfrew as well as the McMillans, of Glasgow’s Cardonald and Darnley, were remanded in custody.
Hamilton, of Paisley, and Mullin, of Pollok, had bail continued.
Lord Fairley deferred sentencing for reports until June 22 in Edinburgh.