Drug dealer jailed following surveillance operation

A drugs trafficker has been jailed for six years after he was caught in a major police surveillance operation targeting organised crime.

Edinburgh High Court
Edinburgh High Court

Peter McLaren was linked to consignments of cocaine in Glasgow and cannabis in Ullapool worth about £250,000 on the streets.

McLaren, 48, found his business interests in difficulty and turned to crime, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

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Lord Woolman told him: “I must, in arriving at a sentence, have regard to the misery the drugs trade causes. You took a risk in becoming involved in this enterprise– a big risk.”

The judge said that in determining the degree of harm caused by his offending, he took account of the weight of the drugs involved rather than the value.

The half kilo of cocaine seized by police in Glasgow was of high purity and had the potential to be cut with adulterants to produce seven times that amount on the streets.

A total of 19 kilos of cannabis resin were found when officers intercepted a courier in Ullapool which was due to be transported to Lewis.

Lord Woolman said: “The police set up an investigation into an organised drugs ring in Scotland. They named it Operation Numerical. They carried out surveillance on various individuals. Intelligence from that operation led to two significant drugs finds.”

Dozens of replica football tops were also found in a raid on McLaren’s home in Foresthall Drive, in Glasgow.

McLaren had earlier denied a string of drugs related charges, but his trial was brought to an end after he admitted two drugs offences.

He pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine between 1 and 29 March in 2014 at locations in Glasgow, including his home address.

He also admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin at his home and in Ullapool between 21 July and 21 August in 2014.

McLaren frequented various golf clubs and was regularly seen driving a blue Mercedes car and during one stop he was found to have almost £15,000 in cash in a golf bag.

One officer said he had seen McLaren at the Dakota Hotel at South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, in the company of “a number of smartly dressed, businessmen type males”.