Drug dealer caught after police bugged his van

Darren Handren admitted having �10,000 of counterfeit notes at his home
Darren Handren admitted having �10,000 of counterfeit notes at his home
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A DRUG trafficker has been caught red-handed talking about major heroin deals after police surveillance teams bugged his van.

Jason Forbes, 30, and co-accused Edmond Reid and their associates became the target for an extensive surveillance operation, a court heard yesterday.

A listening device was deployed in Forbes’ Volkswagen Caddy van during the monitoring operation which was carried out within the Inch and Niddrie areas.

Officers from the Organised Crime Counter Terrorism Unit later seized around £50,000 of heroin from lock-up garages and a kilo of cannabis worth around £11,000.

Advocate depute Sheena Fraser told the High Court in Edinburgh that conversations were recorded which demonstrated Jason Forbes’ involvement in the supply of heroin.

“Amounts of drugs referred to varied from eighths to quarter kilos and kilos,” she said.

“The tenor of the conversation confirmed that Forbes was supervising and organising the drug-supplying operation of the other parties to the conversations and others known to them and taking a cut of the money for doing so.”

Forbes could be heard advising others on the dangers of using phonelines that may leave evidence for police and would use a two-way radio to communicate.

He was also overheard instructing another man on how to use a hydraulic press which can be used for turning out adulterated blocks of drugs.

Later that day, Forbes and another were seen by police to walk away from an address in the Capital’s Cumnor Crescent and drive off before they left an item at a house which was under renovation. When officers checked the garden they found a press and wooden beams dumped on a pile of rubbish.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Boyle said the men now face lengthy prison sentences for organised crime offences.

They believed the Inch and Niddrie had been “safe places for them to continue their illegal activity without reprise”.

He said: “However, thanks to vital information from the public, we have once again been able to demonstrate that there is no safe hiding place for criminals within Edinburgh.”

Forbes, an electrician, was detained by police in 2013 after police turned up at his home in Hay Drive, in Niddrie.

He admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin between November 21 and December 21, 2012.

Reid, 28, of Cumnor Crescent, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and cannabis.

A third man, Darren Handren, 28, of Niddrie Marischal Crescent, pleaded guilty to having £9960 of counterfeit notes at his home in January 2013.

The judge, Lady Wolffe, deferred sentence on all three for the preparation of background reports. She remanded Forbes and Reid in custody ahead of sentencing.