WITH his smart suits and £100,000-a-year salary, Desmond McGuire cut the perfect figure of a hard-working IT professional.
But the “technology architect” was leading a secret double life as an international drug smuggler.
He faces a long jail sentence af ter his plan to run nearly £1million worth of cannabis into Northern Ireland was smashed.
One source said: “McGuire was a far from typical drug smuggler.
“He was a young man in a respectable occupation who earned a massive salary.
“But that obviously wasn’t enough and it seems that pure greed was the motive for getting involved in drug smuggling.”
McGuire, 37, was behind a plan to flood Northern Ireland with 300 kilos of cannabis resin worth £860,000.
Arrogant McGuire carried out the operation on his day off from work – hours after attending a corporate event at Eastwood Golf Club in Newton Mearns, near Glasgow.
He hired the van to transport the drugs from a storage unit in Glasgow to Hillington, where the transfer was made.
But he didn’t know he was under surveillance and the lorry was stopped near Ayr. The driver was arrested and the cannabis was found hidden among lager kegs.
Tests on the wrapping round the 10 packages of cannabis revealed McGuire’s DNA and a hand print.
McGuire was last week convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of supplying the drug between July and August 2008, despite trying to pin the blame on a pal.
McGuire claimed that he rented the van for his friend, James English, to transport some tiles.
Co-accused English, of Milngavie, near Glasgow, walked free after the case against him was found not proven.
The jury accepted his story that he was simply driving his friend McGuire around that day and knew nothing about the drugs.
McGuire, who lives in a £200,000 home near Glasgow’s Great Western Road, told the court: “There was a conversation about moving some tiles.
“James was trying to borrow a van for an old workmate. He didn’t have any documents. I was doing him a favour.”
At the time, McGuire worked in IT with Hewlett Packard earning £60,000, but by the time he stood trial, his salary was £100,000 with Computer Sciences Corporation.
Alan Burns, 58, of Clarkston, Glasgow, who stored the cannabis resin in his premises, was also convicted of supplying.
McGuire and Burns were remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this month.
By Wilma Riley