A DRUG dealer was so absorbed in cutting cocaine he did not realise police were standing behind him, a court heard yesterday.
Mark Richardson, 23, and one of his lieutenants were caught red-handed in a kitchen they were using as a drugs factory.
Police had kept them under surveillance for months before swooping.
At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Richardson faced the judge who jailed him and his dad three years ago for coke dealing.
Richardson admitted being concerned in the supply of £700,000 of cocaine and crack.
Prosecutor Keith Stewart told Lord Kinclaven how officers had raided a house last December by simply walking though an unlocked front door.
They watched Richardson and associate Dylan McCallum, 25, working in the kitchen in Edin-burgh's Ferniehill Road. Mr Stewart said: They were not preparing food.
Richardson was seen pushing a substance through a colander and McCallum was seen breaking up blocks of material using his hands.
So absorbed were Richardson and McCallum that the police officers were able to enter the kitchen without disturbing them.
McCallum admitted being concerned in the supply of £150,000 worth of cocaine. A third man, Gary Orr, 27, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of £120,000 worth of the drug.
All three were remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.
Last night, police revealed that their two-year investigation netted 66 other people and led to the recovery of more than £2million of cocaine, crack and heroin.
Richardson was identified as a principal figure in a crime gang based in Edinburgh but operating nationally.
Lothian and Borders CID chief Det Ch Supt Malcolm Graham said: As a result of this investigation, the group was decimated.
In 2007, Richardson's dad, also Mark, was jailed for four and a half years for masterminding a £47,000 cocaine operation from his Edinburgh home.
Richardson jnr was given 32 months' detention.
Jul 10 2010