A “NAIVE and desperate” cocaine courier caught near Carlisle transporting an criminal £200,000 cargo has been jailed for more than three years.
Police stopped a Vauxhall Vivaro van being driven on the A689 by Ellis Graham at around 8-45pm on January 30.
Noting 22-year-old Graham to be nervous and anxious, officers were suspicious and, during a search of the van, two sealed packages – each weighing around 1kg – were recovered. These contained high purity class A cocaine potentially worth £200,000 if sold on the street in individual deals.
Graham later pleaded guilty to possessing the illegal substance with intent to supply. He revealed he had been asked by an associate to deliver the parcel with the carrot of some reward, but did not know the weight, purity or value of his criminal cargo.
Carlisle Crown Court heard Graham declined to disclose his mobile phone PIN to police, believing it was dangerous to do so, and fearing repercussions and reprisals.
A man of previous good character and well thought of by his family and employer, he was said by his lawyer, Sean Harkin, to be “somebody quite naive and quite desperate due to his financial circumstances. “He was chosen, really, because of his good character, and because of that he has got a better chance of going under the radar than somebody who has been involved in these things before or somebody who has got a record,” said Mr Harkin. “He is remorseful for what he has done.”
Jailing Graham, of Hopes Hill Drive, Carlisle, for 40 months, Judge Nicholas Barker said: “This is a significant seizure of drugs, of cocaine, of a class A drug that you were moving on behalf of someone else.
“You are aware that the use of class A drugs can cause misery for individuals.”