A former heroin trafficker has today been jailed for four-and-a-half years after he was caught with cocaine worth £1,750 on the streets of Fife.
Police recovered the cocaine and cash from premises linked to William Binnie, 48, who previously served a nine-year prison sentence for heroin.
Binnie earlier admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug cocaine between August 22 last year and January 10 this year at Rising Sun Road, Buckhaven, and Main Street, West Wemyss, both Fife.
A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Your involvement and the significance of your role is shown by the drugs paraphernalia and cash recovered.”
Lady Scott said Binnie’s position was made “much more serious” by his criminal record of 27 offences, including assault and robbery and being concerned in the supply of heroin, which earned him a nine-year sentence at the High Court in 2005.
The judge told him that he would have faced a six year sentence for his latest cocaine offence, but for his early guilty plea.
Defence counsel Tim Niven-Smith told the court: “He fully accepts a custodial sentence will be imposed.”
He said that following his earlier release from custody Binnie was involved in running two businesses, including a tea room.
The defence counsel said that Binnie, a prisoner in Perth jail, had tried to lead a law-abiding lifestyle, but developed a drug habit at weekends.
Detective Sergeant Stewart Andrew from Fife’s CID said: “William Binnie was one of the main individuals responsible for distributing crack cocaine within Fife.
“As part of Operation Prospect, our ongoing campaign against drug supply in the Kingdom, we undertook a year-long intelligence led inquiry, targeting Binnie’s network of sub-dealers, with a focus on dismantling the organised crime group at its core level.
“We have now successfully dismantled this group, which has already led to lengthy custodial sentences being handed out to those involved. This culminated in joint enforcement at Binnie’s home in January where evidence of drug supply was recovered.
“I would like to thank both the public in providing essential intelligence that directed the focus of our investigation and also the officers and staff involved for all their hard work in securing this conviction.
“It should be recognised that Binnie enjoyed all the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle funded by his illegal drug supply whilst vulnerable members of our community suffered from the end result of his activities through addiction and the perpetual cycle of crime and misery that crack cocaine brings.
“I welcome today’s sentence which should serve as a reminder that no one is immune from police enforcement and we will continue to take the fight to drug suppliers like Binnie.
“Tackling drug crime remains one of our top priorities and whenever we receive information that identifies ongoing crimes of this nature we will conduct a thorough and professional investigation to bring those responsible to justice.
“If you would like to report drug offences in your community then please contact us via 101, or make an anonymous report to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”