A GOLF professional at a historic Lothians club is facing a lengthy jail sentence after becoming the 11th member of a drug gang to be convicted in a police operation that netted nearly £1 million of cocaine.
Kenneth Glen, 25, who worked as the assistant professional at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club in Prestonpans, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday to charges of supplying cocaine.
The gang were targeted by Operation Tine, a police surveillance operation, which has identified £2m of cash and property to be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Detectives believed up to 20 people were part of the supply network, and several “couriers” have already been jailed after being caught with drugs.
Glen’s co-accused, Andrew Baillie, 37, was also convicted yesterday after admitting supplying cocaine, but other defendants walked free during a 20-day trial due to a lack of evidence.
Businessman Gary Yorke, 45, of Quarrybank, Dalkeith, John Russell, 46, of Trafalgar Lane, Leith, Darren Macholecki, 33, of Shotts, Lanarkshire, and Lee Calder, 30, a prisoner at Saughton jail, all appeared in the dock alongside Glen and Baillie, but were acquitted of cocaine-dealing charges.
But police warned that assets belonging to the acquitted men could still be seized.
Glen, of Dalkeith, admitted supplying cocaine for personal use at various locations across Scotland between February and November last year, including at the Royal Musselburgh club.
Baillie, who has three previous drug convictions, admitted supplying cocaine at various locations in Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire and Livingston between July 16, 2010 and November 10, 2010.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Scott told the Evening News: “This was an intelligence-led operation which began in 2009 and involved a core team of 15 officers.
“Glen was the assistant professional at the golf course. He was involved in selling drugs to people at the club as well as outside it.
“We have recovered £1m in drugs during the operation, primarily cocaine but also some heroin, and identified £2m of assets for civil recovery.
“In addition, there was a number of couriers for this organised crime group who were taken out and dealt with through the courts.”
In May, another member of the gang was jailed for three years after he was caught with a haul of cocaine worth £220,000 on the streets.
Former soldier Paul Main, 30, of Burnside, Prestonpans, was at the wheel of a Honda Civic when police officers pulled it over on the Edinburgh city bypass on July 16 last year. Almost four kilogrammes of the Class A drug and mobile phones were found in the front passenger footwell. DCI Scott said gang members were put under regular surveillance, including being followed in their vehicles across Scotland, while examinations of mobile phone activity were used to help build a case against them.
Earlier in the trial, Kevin Gould, 37, a chef at the Royal Musselburgh club, told how he bought hundreds of pounds worth of cocaine from Glen, often doing the deals at the course’s pro shop.
Defence advocate Neil Murray QC told the court yesterday that Glen had no previous convictions. He added: “His career is now totally trashed.”
Sentence was deferred until January 17 for reports.