Inside life of Brit drug lord ‘The Don’ – glam girlfriend and £10m-a-year empire

A British drug kingpin has been jailed for nine years and 10 months after being arrested in Brazil.

James 'The Don' White, 46, learned his fate this morning (Friday, August 11) appearing at court in Scotland via video link from prison.

He was the boss of a gang considered "the most prolific and sophisticated in Scotland" for its dealings in drugs, guns, violence and dirty money. Lord Colbeck told White his offences were of a kind "seldom seen by the court in Scotland".

READ MORE: Downfall of private schoolboy with Premier League hopes who became £120m drug lord

For the best part of a decade, White had been at the top of an organised crime group operating across three continents – in Scotland and England, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil.

Lord Colbeck told him today: "The extent of your criminality was such that, had a higher headline sentence been open to me, I would have concluded that the appropriate headline sentence would in fact have been in excess of 15 years."

White, from Gartcosh in Lanarkshire, had been a leading member in a gang run by brothers James and Barry Gillespie. Police said the brothers are believed to have been killed up to four years ago while on the run in South America. White then rose to take control.

He was initially caught in Italy in 2020 using a fake passport. Police there mistakenly let him go and he escaped to South America, sparking a huge manhunt that eventually led police to his bolthole in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza. There, White was using the name Vincent McCall.

The Sun previously reported that married man White received a love note from a stunning South American girlfriend by the name Paula Gomes.

It is claimed she fell for White whilst he was hiding in Fortaleza. She wrote in the note: "I will never forget all that you have done for me.

"Actually remembering you is remembering me. You are a very special person, very special.

"I believe I never knew anyone with such a marvellous heart.

"I only desire that your life gives you great victories and this great storm will pass quickly from your life. You are more than an incredible human being."

White was said to be "rich enough to buy out Rolex" after taking over Scotland's biggest drug cartel. A court heard how he was often based in Spain and could speak fluent Spanish as he ran the gang's distribution network around Europe.

He was linked to a £10million cocaine seizure after a lorry was stopped by Border Force officials in Dover in November 2017. It had arrived from Alicante, bound for a fake company set up by the gang.

He also boasted about being able to rake in £10m a year after taking over the gang from the Gillespie brothers.

White was returned to Scotland last August to face justice after spending 20 months in Brazilian jail fighting extradition.

It emerged that White had no earnings records since 2004 despite living a life of luxury, spending big on a lavish wedding with estranged wife Kirstin in 2015 as well as enjoying holidays across the world.

Investigators said his lifestyle was funded by "serious organised crime for a number of years". Police raids found his home "littered with designer clothes, jewellery and footwear". A watch at the property was worth £21,900 alone.

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