Cocaine ‘runner’ caught on bypass

A DRIVER who was pulled over on suspicion of speeding was found to have cocaine with a street value of more than £112,000 in his car, a court heard.

John Smith was flagged down by police officers at the Annesley Road end of Hucknall bypass.

An open bag of drugs was spotted in the car, and a further search recovered a bag from one of the footwells.

Inside the bag were three packages of cocaine weighing a combined total of 750 grammes, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

Smith (39), of Kendal Road, Doncaster, confessed to being a drugs courier.

He pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Judge Michael Stokes QC sentenced him to three years and four months behind bars.

Smith will serve half of his jail sentence, minus 89 days when he was subject to a curfew while awaiting the conclusion of the case.

The court heard that Smith had driven from his home town with the drugs in his car. But he refused to tell detectives where the cocaine had come from and its intended destination.

During an interview with probation officers, he freely admitted that he “had done a few runs in his vehicle”. But on this occasion, he had been caught.

A forensics investigation of the drugs revealed that 203 grammes of the cocaine was of 100% purity.

The court heard Smith had no previous convictions and was a man who had been held in high esteem in his local community

In passing sentence, the judge told Smith: “You have pleaded guilty, in a very frank way I must accept, to a serious offence of possession of a substantial amount of cocaine with intent to supply.”

He added: “You said to the probation officer you did a few runs in this vehicle and got caught, which hardly mitigates the position.”

Smith received credit for his early guilty-pleas and was sentenced on the basis that he was a paid courier who had been caught just once.

He was told that had he been found guilty after a trial, the sentence would have been up to six years in prison.