A COCAINE courier was caught on the M6 near Carlisle with just over a kilo of the drug worth an estimated £124,000.
Allan Ambrose, 49, was jailed for 40 months after he admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply. Carlisle Crown Court heard that the defendant was stopped by police as he drove on the M6 past Junction 44 on the afternoon of October 16 last year.
Police were suspicious because he had been seen swerving across the motorway in his Mazda car.
Officers suspected he may be under the influence of a drug such as cannabis, said prosecutor Brendan Burke.
“When he was stopped, there was was no trouble at all on the hard shoulder, but there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car,” said the barrister.
Ambrose handed over a cigarette packet, inside which were four cannabis joints.
When police searched the car, the officers found a package in a carrier bag.
Inside it, heavily wrapped, was just over a kilo of cocaine, which was 72 per cent pure. Mr Burke added: “He said that a mate had stitched him up.” The defendant also initially claimed that he had been driving north sell a car for somebody.
Kim Whittlestone, for Ambrose, described him as a vulnerable individual, saying he had significant health problems, which included diabetes.
She said Ambrose had become very involved with his local church, which had given both the defendant and his wife, who also had health problems, support over the years.
In prison, he had become the number one cleaner for his wing.
Recorder Christopher Hudson noted that the defendant, of Crosby Road South, Liverpool, had a previous conviction for possessing heroin with intent to supply. For that previous offence, he was given a suspended jail sentence.
The judge told the defendant: “You knew what you were doing and there was some form of reward to you, whether financial, or with the provision of cannabis because I know that you have a pretty expensive cannabis habit.”
Both the defendant and his partner were on benefits, said the judge.
Accepting that Ambrose was a courier, the judge added: “Someone is making a great deal of money out of this, although perhaps not you.”
The judge commented that the kind of class A drugs which the defendant had been transporting have a significant impact on communities.