An Angus man who set up a drug smuggling operation while still a teenager is facing jail after a bid was foiled to have almost £20,000 worth of ecstasy delivered from Amsterdam.
Lewis Webster travelled to the Netherlands to buy Class A drugs, which he tried to deliver to a friend’s house on Bruce Road, Arbroath.
Packaged in parcels from a Dutch pram company, a consignment of drugs was intercepted by UK Border Force agents at Heathrow.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard how the haul of more than 1,000 tablets had been on its way to a “Lewis Jackson” in Arbroath.
A search warrant was executed by police in August 2019 on the Bruce Road property. The woman who lived there confirmed Webster would have parcels delivered to the address under that name.
At Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Webster was remanded in custody after he pled guilty to importing and dealing the drugs between December 2018 and October 2019.
Pram parcels hijacked by criminal gang
The court was told how Webster made two trips to Amsterdam in January and March 2019, after taking out almost €6,000 from Ramsdens each time.
Over three dates in July 2019, the Border Force intercepted parcels from a pram company in Alkmaar.
Fiscal depute Kirsten Letford said: “The parcels were likely hijacked by a criminal gang. UK Border Force recovered 1,103 tablets.
“They had a potential value of £11,030. MDMA crystals weighing 199g were recovered with a potential value of between £6,000 and £8,000.
“The accused’s fingerprints were found on the packages.”
The woman at the Bruce Road property told police Webster would visit twice a week and used the address to collect parcels.
Mrs Letford said: “The accused had told her he had big plans but she takes his claims with a pinch of salt.”
Webster’s bank account showed a number of high value transactions, with independent witnesses confirming they had previously bought ecstasy from Webster.
It was also revealed he had purchased vacuum bags and padded envelopes.
Webster, now 21, of Glenesk Avenue, Montrose, pled guilty to being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition of MDMA – illegally importing ecstasy.
Those crimes began on December 10 2018, when he was just 19, until July 21 2019.
Between December 10 2018 and October 11 2019, Webster, who has a previous conviction for cultivating cannabis, was concerned in the supply of the drugs on Bruce Road and High Street, Arbroath and his home address.
‘Significant and sophisticated scheme’
Solicitor Billy Rennie said: “He is under no illusions as to what has to be considered. Clearly he has some plans but it might come across in the social work report that all is not what it seems.”
Sheriff Richard McFarlane took a dim view of Webster’s conduct and remanded him in custody ahead of sentencing in April.
“It occurs to me that you have involved yourself in a very significant and sophisticated scheme,” he said.
“I am in no doubt that a custodial sentence is in contemplation.”