A drug courier caught with a huge haul of cocaine worth £1.2m has been jailed for four years and eight months.
Ian Caulfield, 34, was driving a Mercedes Sprinter van northbound when he was stopped by police on the M74 at Abington, South Lanarkshire, on July 23 last year.
Officers recovered around 30 kilos of the Class A drug after the vehicle was halted and searched.
A judge told Caulfield at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Addiction to Class A drugs is a terrible problem in our society.”
Lord Richardson said there was no doubt that the supply operation of which Caulfield was a part was “very significant”.
The judge told him that only a prison sentence was appropriate and that he would have faced a seven year sentence if he was convicted of the offence following a trial.
Caulfield, formerly of Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, had earlier admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine on the day he was stopped by police.
Defence counsel John Scullion QC said that at the time of the offence Caulfield had his own difficulties with drug misuse.
He owed money and became involved in the offence in a bid to pay off the debt.
Mr Scullion said: “He was unaware of the quantity or value of the drugs he was delivering at the time.
“His role was that of a courier and whilst an important role, it is one at the lower end of involvement in the supply chain.”
Mr Scullion pointed out that no confiscation proceedings have been brought against Caulfield to recover crime profits.
He said Caulfield has expressed remorse, and added: “I think it is fair to say he bitterly regrets his involvement in the offence.”