A Dundee man has been told to expect a significant prison sentence for his part in a major cocaine operation.
Ryan Bonella, 25, was described as a “sorcerer’s apprentice” for dealers after he admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug between October 31 2016 and December 9 2016.
The offences took place at Bonella’s home in Whitfield Rise, as well as the city’s Bonnybank Road.
Bonella was involved in an operation headed by William Malkin, 25, who received a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence at the High Court in Glasgow in July 2017 after the recovery of cocaine worth £119,000.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard on Monday that police were conducting surveillance on a number of known individuals — including Bonella — in November and December 2016.
A search was of Bonella’s home carried out, when he was detained and his mobile phone was seized.
Bonella had been in discussion with another male, described as a courier, about how the drugs would be delivered.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson said: “Scales were found containing traces of cocaine. Mobile phones were seized and another male was traced.
“Extensive text messages showed that the accused was concerned in discussions about how the drugs should be packaged and delivered.”
Messages showed Bonella was responsible for the collection of a shipment of drugs on November 23 2016.
He made no response to being cautioned and charged by police.
Solicitor George Donnelly said Bonella had been “snared” by those higher up in the operation after accumulating drug debts.
He added: “The accused is something of a sorcerer’s apprentice.
“Those involved in the operation span a much greater libel geographically.
“Your lordship may not be surprised to hear how he became snared and ended up working for them.”
Bonella has numerous previous convictions, including assault, breach of the peace, police assault and drugs possession.
Mr Donnelly said Bonella had taken “huge steps” to turn his life around.
Sheriff Alistair Brown opted to remand Bonella in custody while social work reports were prepared.
He said: “Those who deal in Class A drugs can’t expect any sympathy.”
Sentence was deferred until February 5.