Forklift driver caught with £468,000 cocaine haul jailed

Stephen McLean, 40, was jailed for three years and four months at the High Court in Glasgow.

A forklift driver who was caught with more than £400,000 worth of cocaine has been jailed.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, Stephen McLean, 40, admitted being concerned in the supply of the drug.

The court heard that McLean had got into financial trouble and agreed to drive down to Liverpool and bring the cocaine back to Scotland.

He was snared in a surveillance operation at J4 northbound at Stonehouse in South Lanarkshire on April 4 last year, and when his car was later searched cocaine with a potential maximum street value of £468,000 was found.

Judge Sean Murphy QC told McLean, who appeared by video link from prison: “The explanation given by you is a common one, but in your case it seems more credible. You have held down a steady job and are a family man.

“You did this for short-term gain for yourself.

“For the sake of your family you must never become involved in illegal drugs.”

Prosecutor Blair Speed told the court a cardboard box recovered from McLean’s Audi contained three kilos of high purity cocaine wrapped in bubble wrap.

McLean’s DNA was found on the opening edges of the box and on one of the pieces of bubble wrap.

Forensic examiners found that the kilo bags were between 74% and 81% purity.

Mr Speed added: “If the drugs were adulterated to 10% purity and sold as one gram deals, the drugs would have a value of £468,000.

“It is agreed the accused’s role in the chain of supply was as a courier.”

McLean, of Halfway in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, was jailed for three years and four months.