Dumbarton removal man jailed after raid uncovers large scale drug operation

A REMOVAL man from Dumbarton has been jailed for more than five years after a raid on an office in Renton uncovered a large scale drug operation. Robert Wilson was said to have returned to crime after his work shifting furniture had dried up. Detectives had been keeping tabs at a unit at an industrial site in Cambuslang, near Glasgow as well as a back office in Renton which were both sub-let to Wilson.

Officers were also watching what was happening at the remote Lochfauld Farm in Glasgow during the months of surveillance. They went on find an industrial mixer and scales as well as cookers, gas cannisters and barrels to help make a massive 563kg of a substance used to bulk out heroin. On Friday, prosecutors told the High Court in Glasgow said this would have allowed a “large quantity” of the deadly drug to be adulterated and sold.

Wilson pleaded guilty at Friday’s hearing to being concerned in the supply of heroin at the three sites between June 16 and October 5, 2019. The offence was aggravated bya connection to serious organised crime. The 47 year-old Dumbarton resident faced a mandatory seven year jail term as it was his third class A drug trafficking conviction.

But judge Lady Haldane reduced the sentence to one of five years and 219 days because of Wilson’s guilty plea. Prosecutor Shanti Maguire told the court how Wilson was regularly tracked by police. They noted that he travelled to Penrith in Cumbria with another person to pick up a stainless steel drum mixer.

Miss Maguire: “They physically transferred this from a flat bed truck – assisted by the driver – into the rear of a van. “They were later seen unloading a large piece of equipment from the van at the unit in Cambuslang.” Wilson was also clocked going to a cash and carry to buy items such as buckets and metal trays used in the drugs operation.

Police initially swooped at the unit at Ace Autos in Renton on October 2, 2019. They had to force entry to the property – and Miss Maguire said it was “immediately obvious” drug-related activity had been going on. A total of 24 large barrels or cooking trays were packed with the heroin mixing agent.

Two days later, officers searched an area at the end of the yard at Lochfauld Farm. They made a number of finds, including a further haul of the substance in a large pot on a cooker. The bulking agent was found to be a mix of caffeine and paracetamol known as “bash”.

The estimated total value was GBP169,000. Miss Maguire: “The profit margin achievable by using this specific cuting agent affords opportunity to significantly increase wholesale profits from the sale of heroin.” Wilson was later arrested at the home he shared with his partner.

Police found two bags of white powder there which tested positive for cocaine and amphetamine valued at GBP4,400. Wilson also pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of those drugs. Tony Lenehan, defending, said: “He tried to make a go at removing furniture.

“In 2019, it was in the process of being wound up due to it not being a success.

“He was in a position where there was no income and it was not difficult to regain contact with those he had known before.”