Pair jailed over drugs operation
Two men have been jailed for nearly eight years after a police operation uncovered £750,000 of illegal drugs.
Derek Walton, 28, from Fallin near Stirling, and former soldier Donald Maclennan, 29, from Inverness, were caught after a six-month investigation.
Walton admitted supplying cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine between March and June 2010. He was jailed for five years and eight months
Maclennan was jailed for two years and three months for supplying cocaine.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that Walton was caught during Operation Urchin - a surveillance-led initiative by Central Scotland Police.
Advocate depute Stephen O'Rourke, prosecuting, said that the operation - which involved analysis of mobile phones and interviews - clearly revealed that Walton was high up the chain of supply in central Scotland.
He said: "The accused is plainly familiar with police tactics to deter and prevent the trafficking of controlled drugs and has repeatedly taken steps to distance himself from the controlled drugs supplied by him.
"More particularly the accused has consistently and systematically used other persons to store drugs and to collect and distribute them on his behalf with the use of 'safe houses' for storage and distribution purposes.
"These same persons were also used in the collection of cash. These people considered themselves to be in the employment of the accused."
During the police investigation, 10 people involved in the same group as Walton and Maclennan, were jailed for a total of 33 years.
The court also heard that Maclennan sourced cocaine from Walton and arranged for a courier to travel to Polmont to collect it.
When interviewed by police, Maclennan said that he met his co-accused through them both supporting the same football team and added that he was in debt to him.
Following the conviction, Det Insp Douglas Telfer, of Central Scotland Police, said: "The investigations covered every area of this force and drugs worth around £750,000 and £37,000 of money was recovered."
He added: "We have recovered every kind of illicit substance and prevented them from getting onto our streets which can only benefit our communities."