A man was caught with a gun and drugs in an organised crime raid.

Dylan O’Connor, 27, was snared following a police operation at two properties linked to him in Paisley on 6th July 2021.

Officers recovered a black hand gun, a magazine and bulleted cartridges from a cupboard in mum, Joan MacNeil’s, common close.

Also found were 136,000 street valium tablets within a number of bags as well as 300 grams of heroin.

O’Connor’s own home was raided, and officers found a further 100,000 street valium tablets and 460 grams of cocaine.

O’Connor pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a string of offences which includes three firearms charges and three charges of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

The dad-of-one was initially joined in the dock with mother, Joan MacNeil, and partner Demi Jones who had their not guilty pleas accepted by the Crown.

Both women were visibly emotional upon leaving the dock and courtroom.

The court heard that tabs were put on O’Connor as a result of Police Scotland Operation Sharkfin.

The operation was investigating serious organised crime groups in the west of Scotland.

O’Connor was spotted entering and leaving his mother’s home with a box and a bag before driving off.

Officers later met MacNeil who told them that she had not accessed the close store cupboard for a year.

She added that she had given O’Connor her key to access her home the previous day while she was out.

A raid of the cupboard recovered the 136,000 etizolam tablets and the gun as well as a “sound moderator” for it.

Inside the property was 559 grams of heroin and a hydraulic press.

A search was conducted of O’Connor’s home where a further 100,000 etizolam tablets were recovered from a garden shed as well as 460 grams of cocaine from under the kitchen boiler.

Prosecutor Neil McCulloch told the court that the gun was a Turkish manufactured Atak Arms Zoraki model which was either a converted gas or an alarm pistol.

The gun was modified to allow a sound moderator which had also been recovered from MacNeil’s close cupboard.

Mr McCulloch added: “The gun was capable of chambering and discharging .380 short bulleted cartridges.”

There were also 12 round live cartridges recovered.

The total amount of heroin found was £24,200, the cocaine amounted to £70,420 while the etizolam has the potential to reach £201,639.

Donald Findlay KC, defending, said: “He became involved with people who made an offer he couldn’t refuse and became involved in the chain of supply as a custodian from time to time.

“It was virtually lying about the place for the police to come and get it.

“He has been relieved the position he put his mother and partner of his child in.”

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month by Judge Douglas Brown who remanded O’Connor in custody meantime.

By Connor Gordon

Renfrewshire News Court Reporter

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