Man facing jail over £500k cocaine, amphetamine haul

A 59-YEAR-OLD man is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of involvement in trafficking illegal drugs worth more than £500,000.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 6:03 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2016, 7:11 am
George Thompson. Picture: Vic Rodrick

George Thompson was convicted yesterday of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and amphetamine.

A jury of 14 took just an hour to find him guilty of two charges at the High Court in Livingston.

Judge Lord Ballantyne told greyhound breeder Thompson, of Livingston, West Lothian, that he would be remanded in custody until sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh next month.

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Thompson’s son Stuart, 36, from Uphall, West Lothian, walked free from court on Wednesday after being acquitted of the same charges. The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Thompson senior had denied handling and dealing in the Class A and B drugs at various locations in the Central Belt and the Scottish Borders between July 18 and November 21, 2014.

The jury heard he had been under surveillance by Police Scotland’s serious crime and counter terrorism squad for months

Officers watched as he made contact with three men who were stopped in possession of controlled drugs shortly after they met him.

All three associates were later prosecuted and convicted of drugs offences.

Police also monitored Thompson as he made daily visits to West Cairns Farm at Kirknewton, where cannabis farmer Alexander Cameron was bludgeoned to death by his tenant James Smith.

Smith’s wife Helen had reported suspicious late-night movements at the farm which resulted in the police drugs investigation focusing on Thompson.

Police stopped his white Transit van on the A7 near Heriot on November 20, 2014, and found a kilo of cocaine hidden in a compartment above the driver’s seat.

A search of the accused’s home uncovered two bags containing more than 82 grammes of amphetamine in his freezer drawers.

And three kilos of high purity cocaine and a kilo of amphetamine, commonly known as “speed”, were found in kennels used by Thompson during a search of the farm.

It emerged that Thompson had previously served a three-month prison sentence for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Gray, from the East Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “There is no doubt that George Thompson was heavily involved in the distribution of drugs throughout the Lothians and Scottish Borders, given the significant quantity of Class A drugs we seized from vehicles and properties linked to him.

“The cocaine was of a very high purity and we are delighted to have recovered it before it could cause untold harm to our communities.

“Tackling drug crime is a priority for Police Scotland and we robustly gather and investigate all intelligence from the public relating to those involved in offences of this nature.

“If you wish to report ongoing criminal activity in your area then please contact Police Scotland on 101 or make an anonymous report via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”