Highlands & Islands

Scotland's strongest man contender Louis MacLean jailed on cocaine charges

Louis MacLean
Image caption Police saw MacLean hand over drugs in Spean Bridge

A builder who competed for Scotland's strongest man titles has been jailed after he was caught by police trying to supply £24,000-worth of cocaine.

Louis MacLean, 38, of Fort William, was on licence from a previous prison sentence for drug offences when he was arrested in August 2009.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, he admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs in Spean Bridge, Lochaber.

He was jailed for four years and nine months.

The court heard that police had another drug trafficker under surveillance when they saw MacLean handing over the cocaine.

MacLean had been jailed for five years and six months in 2004 after police seized drugs worth £65,000 in the Inverness area.

Judge Lord Tyre said that sentence did not appear to have deterred MacLean from re-offending.

He said: "Despite having a family of your own, you have willingly contributed your services to the promotion of an industry that brings misery and death to its victims."

The judge said a background report on MacLean revealed he was "furious" with himself for becoming involved in the latest offence.

Lord Tyre added: "You clearly realise this was a very stupid thing to have done."

Northern Constabulary said MacLean's arrest was one of four made between 2009 and 2010 during Operation Asteroid, which was launched to tackle an organised crime group.

Others arrested included his brother, Peter, 30, from Inverlochy, near Fort William.

In 2011, he admitted supplying cocaine with an estimated street value of almost £20,000 and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Det Sup Gordon Greenlees said: "The sentencing of Louis MacLean today signifies the culmination of a significant and complex operation with the aim of dismantling an organised crime gang headed by this previously convicted drug dealer.

"Without doubt the communities of the Highlands, and in particular Lochaber, will be a safer and better place to live because of these convictions."

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