Dealer is told to pay back £190k

AN EX-soldier who enjoyed a "high-spending lifestyle" funded by drug dealing has been ordered to pay almost £190,000 from the proceeds of his crime.

Darren Ormiston, from the Greenbank area, was jailed for two years after police recovered a 60kg consignment of cannabis resin with a 170,000 street value at his home.

The 32-year-old, who served in Iraq before leaving the army seven years ago, immediately faced confiscation proceedings, with prosecutors chasing his 4x4 BMW X5, as well as 25,000 found in cash in a raid and his home.

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A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh was told yesterday that a settlement in the case had now been reached.

Advocate depute Barry Divers asked Lord Brailsford to record the proceeds of Ormiston's criminal conduct at 188,000 and to make a confiscation order in the same amount, with him being allowed six months for payment.

Lord Brailsford told Ormiston when sentencing him last year that "a quite significant quantity of the drug was involved" and he would have faced a three-year jail sentence, but for his guilty plea.

Part of the cannabis haul was found in a suitcase that was so heavy police officers struggled to lift it.

The court heard that after receiving intelligence, undercover officers were given authority to carry out surveillance on Ormiston.

His BMW was seen outside a flat in Little John Road, in Edinburgh, on 31 July. He was seen leaving with a designer bag and speaking to a car driver before going to a garage.

He drove off and was followed to a vacant flat in Tytler Gardens, in the city's Abbeyhill area, which he had keys for and was supposedly painting for the owner.

He was seen dragging a heavy suitcase and was helped by another man to lift it into the close.

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Police later went back to Little John Road and were told drugs were in a box. They found 52 bars of cannabis. A further 200 bars of the drug were found during a search at the Tytler Gardens flat, 160 stored in the suitcase.

Ormiston told police in an interview that he was a self-employed builder earning on average 500 a week. He would not comment on where he had received the cannabis or how much was paid for it.