West Lothian drug smuggling gang plead guilty

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Four men have admitted being involved in a major drug dealing operation in West Lothian.

Ryan Mayberry, Patrick McKervey, Hugh McAnna and Gordon Stewart were all arrested in 2012 following a police surveillance operation.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard almost £2m of cannabis and amphetamine was seized in the operation.

All four men admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs. Sentence was deferred.

Advocate Leanne Cross told the High Court in Edinburgh that Mayberry, 33, and McKervey, 31, organised and managed a number of couriers.

She said both men had "clean" and "dirty" phones during the period and used a variety of phone numbers.

The prosecutor said: "While it is accepted that they in turn were working for others, they were operating at a level above that of the couriers."

She said the two men "effectively facilitated the transporting of hundreds of kilos of controlled drugs from England into the West Lothian area."

'Operation Saddler'

The advocate depute said a total of 392 kilos of cannabis were recovered which could be broken down into street deals worth up to £928,000.

A further 10 kilos of high purity amphetamine were seized which if cut could be bulked out to provide 190 kilos of the drug for street sale with a maximum value of £950,000.

Mayberry, from Livingston, and McKervey, from Coventry, both admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis and amphetamine.

McAnna, 52, of Fauldhouse, and 50-year-old Stewart, from Whitburn, both pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Miss Cross said that police had mounted a large surveillance operation, known as Operation Saddler, against drug dealing in West Lothian and as a result a number of couriers had been caught.

Among them was McAnna, who was stopped and searched at Motherwell railway station after intelligence was received that he would be travelling to England by train. He was found to be carrying £53,920 in cash.

Mayberry was seen flying from Edinburgh to Birmingham to meet McKervey, and the pair also met up later in Edinburgh.

Mayberry was later stopped by traffic officers and found to be carrying more than £7,000 in cash. He claimed the money was from the sale of a window cleaning business and he was travelling south to buy a vehicle.

The judge, Lord Brailsford, deferred sentence on all four until next month for the preparation of background reports.

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