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No coke Cocaine dealer snapped laughing in mugshot sentenced to seven-and-a-half years

Neilson was scooped in a van with 15 kilos of cocaine hidden in dog food bags

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John Neilson seemed to enjoy having his photo taken

John Neilson seemed to enjoy having his photo taken

John Neilson seemed to enjoy having his photo taken

Could this be the happiest mugshot of all time?

A West-Lothian lorry driver, John Neilson (44), has been handed a seven-and-a-half-year sentence after the seizure of cocaine worth almost £900,000 hidden in dog food bags in the Bathgate area.

NCA officers working with Police Scotland Organised Crime Partnership arrested Neilson last June in a vehicle repair yard after he was put under surveillance.

However, following his arrest the convicted drug dealer didn’t seem too concerned when he was having his mugshot taken...

Having searched a van he was driving on a tip-off, officers found 15 blocks of cocaine inside the bags of dog food.

Neilson later pleaded guilty at Glasgow High Court to being concerned in the supply of cocaine in connection with a serious crime gang.

He claimed he had collected the van on the day it was searched because he had agreed to collect “something” but said he was “better off not knowing” what it was, so he didn’t ask.

Acting for the prosecution, Margaret Barron said: "During the search of the 26 bags, a total of 15 of them were found to contain blocks wrapped in black tape.

"Each weighed approximately 1kg. All 15 were found to contain white powder… Later identified as cocaine."

After sentencing, NCA Scotland Operations Manager Rob Miles said: “This was a substantial seizure of cocaine, made possible by the close co-operation of the NCA and Police Scotland working together under the Organised Crime Partnership.

“It also represents a substantial disruption for the crime group involved, depriving them of commodity and profit they would no-doubt have reinvested.”

Detective Inspector Tom Gillan of the Scottish Organised Crime Partnership said: “These drugs would have ended up on the streets of our local communities and Neilson played an important role in transporting cocaine into Scotland.

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“Stopping the illicit flow of drugs into the country continues to be a priority for Police Scotland and we work closely with our partners to investigate those involved in serious and organised crime.”

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