A COCAINE courier caught travelling through north Cumbria with a criminal cargo potentially worth up to £124,000 has been jailed for more than three years.
Allan Ambrose, 49, was stopped between junctions 44 and 45 of the M6 northbound, near Carlisle, on October 16 while behind the wheel of a Mazda which was seen by police “swerving across the road”.
Ambrose was under the influence of cannabis which was detected during a drug wipe, stopped on the hard shoulder. Found underneath the front passenger seat was a heavily wrapped package inside a carrier bag. This contained just over one kilo of high purity class A cocaine.
Ambrose, of Crosby Road South, Seaforth, Liverpool also volunteered a cigarette packet containing four cannabis joints.
“At the scene he said that a mate had stitched him him up because he had been getting paid £500 to have a look at a tractor,” prosecutor Brendan Burke told Carlisle Crown Court. “He varied that account both in a prepared statement and in interview to the assertion that he was taking the car up to sell on someone else’s behalf.
However, Ambrose later admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and possessing cannabis. The court heard he had a previous class A drug supply conviction which was over a decade old.
Kim Whittlestone, defending, said both Ambrose and his wife had significant health problems, he suffering from diabetes and leg ulcers.
He was a “vulnerable” man who had latterly become an active member of a church, said Miss Whittlestone, who added: “He has tried to make positive steps to others in the community through the church.”
After hearing submissions, Recorder Christopher Hudson imposed a 40-month jail term, concluding there must have been “some sort of financial incentive” for Ambrose making the illegal road trip.
“It is deliberate, for-reward involvement in the couriering of class A controlled drugs, which has a significant impact on communities in which they are delivered,” said Recorder Hudson told the defendant. “That’s what makes it serious.”
Detective Constable Catherine McDonnell said: “This was a great result taking 1.24kg of cocaine of the street.
“We will take action against those who seek to profit from the illegal supply of drugs and we continue to encourage the public to report any suspicions they have regarding the supply of drugs.”