Man caught on A30 transporting £22,000 of heroin
A DRUG courier has been jailed after he was caught transporting £22,000 heroin and £8,200 cash on the A30 near Okehampton.
Joseph Duffy was recruited by a Liverpool-based gang to transport the drugs to the South West and to return with cash but police learned of the trip and intercepted him.
He was pulled in at the Whiddon Down filling station on the A30 and told the arresting officers ‘I’ll get five years for this’.
A judge at Exeter Crown Court told him that he had a pleasant surprise for him when he jailed him for less than half the time he expected.
Recorder Mr Kevin de Haan, QC, reduced the sentence after hearing that Duffy had been exploited by a County Lines gang because he suffers from ADHD, dyslexia and suspected autism.
Duffy, aged 27, of Widnes, Cheshire, admitted possession with intent to supply and possession of criminal property and was jailed for two years and four months.
The judge ordered the seizure of the Ford Mondeo car which he was driving when he was stopped.
He told him: ‘You told the police you were going to get five years for this. I have got a pleasant surprise for you. You are not. I factor in that there are no aggravating factors.
‘You were playing a very dangerous game and you now appreciate that it has got to stop. There is a future for you but it certainly does not include working for a County Lines operation..’
Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said police became suspicious of a car which travelled from Merseyside to Cornwall and stopped it on the A30 as Duffy started on the return journey.
He had eight golf ball sized bags of heroin in the car with a combined weight of 215 grams and street value of £22,000 and police also seized two clingfilm-wrapped bundles of cash containing £8,260.
Michael Bagley, defending, said Duffy came from a respectable family and his mother, who works for the NHS had provided a reference for him.
He became involved with the gang because his mental health issues led him to use alcohol and drugs and to fall in with bad company.
He plans to resume his work as a van driver when he is released.
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