TWO men were caught red handed as they transported cannabis worth more than £40,000 along the M6 through Cumbria.

Police officers who were patrolling the motorway near Kendal on Saturday, July 22 last year decided to stop the Audi being driven by 51-year-old Jhanzaib Gul, who was travelling with 43-year-old Joseph McCrory.

Having noticed a strong smell of cannabis, the officers decided to search the car. In the boot, they found four kilos of cannabis resin.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply, while McCrory also admitted a cannabis possession charge.

Prosecuting barrister Andrew Evans said that it was accepted that McCrory’s involvement in the drug running amounted to just two trips.

The barrister outlined how police found the cannabis stuffed into two supermarket bags, which had been stashed in the Audi’s boot.

Experts have assessed the cannabis’s potential street value as being £42,200. McCrory was also found to have a small amount of the same drug in his possession.

The court heard that Gul entered a guilty plea to the possession with intent charge on the day his trial was due to get underway.

He explained his involvement by saying that he was under financial pressure. His barrister Brendan Burke told the court the defendant – said to have made 14 previous round trips to Workington.

McCrory’s barrister, Tim Evans, said the defendant played no organisational role in the drugs operation. In custody since his arrest last year, he had already served the equivalent of more than a year in jail.

Recorder Julian Shaw noted the time McCrory had spent behind bars and as a result imposed a two-year conditional discharge, warning that any further offending by the defendant, of Forber Grover, Bradford, would result in him being resentenced.

Turning to Gul, of Rylstone Gardens, Bradford, the judge imposed an eleven-month jail term, suspended for two years.

The sentence includes 120 hours unpaid work and 12 rehabilitation activity days. Gul must also observe an electronically monitored curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am for four months.

McCrory was told that he is likely to be released with immediate effect.