A man has been jailed for drug trafficking after £48,000 worth of heroin was discovered by police in Aberdeen.
Stephen Mudd, 22, was “caught in the act” by officers who were carrying out a surveillance operation.
Mudd was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday to five years and 219 days following an early guilty plea.
He was spotted in Aberdeen’s Greenfern Woods shining a torch where detectives had earlier found drugs hidden in a jar.
When he returned to the site with a dog he was challenged by police and tried to flee but was detained after a short chase.
Lord Tyre told Mudd at the High Court in Edinburgh: "Your role in this drug supply operation appears to be a courier transferring packages from their hiding place."
The judge said: "The operation turned out to be under police surveillance and you were caught in the act."
Lord Tyre told Mudd that his motivation appeared to be to pay off his own drug debts.
The judge said he did not consider there was anything in his case which would make the imposition of the seven-year sentence set down by Parliament for a third conviction for Class A drug trafficking unjust.
But he told Mudd that he would reduce his sentence to one of five years and 219 days following his early guilty plea.
Unemployed Mudd, of Esk Place, Aberdeen, had admitted on March 2 this year to being involved in the supply of heroin at the city's Greenfern Woods.
Detectives searched a section of the woodland and found coffee jars partially buried one of which contained almost half a kilo of the drug in 108 knotted packages.
Defence counsel Kevin McCallum said Mudd had previous drug offences as a teenager from England where he used to live and these involved small amounts.
He said Mudd was in debt because of a cannabis habit but Lord Tyre told Mudd that he "a poor record" of previous offending and added: "You have not learnt to show respect for the law."
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