Motorist caught with £180k drugs haul near Tebay on the M6
Police officers stopped 40-year-old Barry Simmons as he drove a hire car on the northbound carriageway of the M6 in Cumbria near to Tebay Services on August 15.
Inside the bag officers found a consignment of three different kinds of drugs.
There was ten kilos of amphetamine with a potential street value of £150,000; two kilos of cannabis, potentially worth up to £20,000; and three quarters of a kilo of mephedrone, or Mcat, valued at £13,500.
Investigations showed that the hire car was due to be returned to Aberdeen Airport later that morning.
The defendant told police that he was a courier and nothing more, having agreed to transport the drugs because of a drugs debt.
The court heard that the defendant had previous relevant offences on his record, including one for the importation of cannabis seized at Manchester Airport.
For that offence, he was given two years jail.
The defendant pleaded guilty to three possession with intent to supply offences, one for each of the drugs he was transporting.
Julian Nutter, defending, told Judge Nicholas Barker: “You will see from his previous convictions that there is addiction to drugs and that is how he got involved in all of this in the first place.
“He was put under pressure over a drugs debt with regard to that most recent conviction. He has been easy meat, used by others more sophisticated than he is.”
A professional taxi driver, and father of two young children, Simmons was an ordinary working man and had nowhere to hide from the criminals pressuring him.
Judge Nicholas Barker accepted that Simmons was pressured into the offending because of his debt as a drug user and that he was remorseful.
But the judge told the defendant, of Winnifred Road, Liverpool: "Even though you were under pressure, you knew what you were doing; you were recently convicted of the importation of cannabis and got two years for that.
"Those who engage in drugs should understand that those people who supply are people who care not for the drug user but only for themselves and they will stop at nothing to carry on this evil business and this was clearly nationwide activity."