Drugs kingpin jailed for setting up Scots factory to flood UK cities …

A drug dealer involved in a conspiracy to produce amphetamines with a street value of more than £1million[1] at a hidden factory in Scotland has been jailed for 16-and-a-half years.

Terence Earle, 48, played a “leading role” in a Merseyside-based organised crime gang which plotted to supply cocaine in England and Scotland and produce amphetamines in a “secret laboratory” north of the border, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

He was sentenced on Tuesday[2] for two counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine – one count relating to Scotland and the other to England and Wales – and conspiracy to produce amphetamines in Scotland.

During a trial of issue, Earle, of St Helens, Merseyside, disputed supplying 11kg of cocaine and planning to supply six to eight more, accepting only being involved with the supply or transport of seven to eight kilograms.

He claimed he falsely promised to supply cocaine to “string along” a Scottish contact who he expected to produce amphetamine oil with a street value of more than £200,000 from chemicals Earle provided.

Stephen King of Dumbarton was given an 18-month suspended sentence
Stephen King of Dumbarton was given an 18-month suspended sentence

Martin Reid, prosecuting, said Earle and associates imported drugs into England from Europe and beyond.

On March 23 2020, a quantity of alpha-phenylacetoacetamide – a chemical used in the production of amphetamine – was delivered to a property in Motherwell[4], North Lanarkshire, Mr Reid said.

In December that year, a lorry which had been loaded from a warehouse at Reams Hill Caravan Park in Weeton, Lancashire, was stopped by police and 560kg of the chemical was found on board.

Mr Reid said the amount was enough to make a tonne of amphetamine with a street value of more than £1m.

The facility in Scotland set up to produce amphetamine has not been found by authorities so it is not clear how much has been made, the court was told.

Judge described Earle’s evidence as ‘incredulous’

In messages sent using the encrypted Encrochat service, Earle discussed adulterating nine kilograms of cocaine to make 12kg. When asked about the messages by Mr Reid, Earle said: “You’re barking up the wrong tree, mate.”

The defendant compared his Encrochat messages, which were hacked by law enforcement agencies in 2020, to a book that could be interpreted in different ways by different readers. He said: “In this book, I’m the author.”

He claimed he facilitated the supply of one kilogram of cocaine after bumping into an acquaintance by chance in the street in Huyton, Merseyside.


  1. ^ street value of more than £1million (www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk)
  2. ^ sentenced on Tuesday (www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk)
  3. ^ Natalie McGarry’s lawyers ask for time to examine ‘vast’ number of transactions (www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk)
  4. ^ Motherwell (www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk)
  5. ^ here (data.reachplc.com)

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