Richard Callaghan jailed for having supply of cocaine and cannabis

Cocaine Image copyright PSNI
Image caption The cocaine Callaghan had been couriering had a purity level of between 12% and 13%

A man who was caught in a police anti-drugs operation last year has been jailed.

Richard Callaghan, of Rathmore Crescent in Creggan, Londonderry, pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of cocaine and herbal cannabis.

The court heard that police valued the drugs at almost £130,000 but the defence said it was half that amount.

The judge sentenced Callaghan to two years and eight months, half of which will be spent on licence.

Almost 0.5kg of cocaine, with a purity level of between 12% and 13%, and 5kg of herbal cannabis were found in a wheelie bin at the back of a car driven by Callaghan at Beechwood Crescent in Derry on 13 June last year.

Police officers saw Callaghan, along with another man who ran off, lifting out the spare wheel of the car and loading the drugs from the boot into the bin.

The car used in the drugs run was bought by another man on the internet and given to Callaghan in return for him driving the drugs to Beechwood Crescent.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Police seized 5kg of herbal cannabis that Callaghan had in the boot of his car

Callaghan drove the car from a garage in County Armagh where the drugs had been loaded into the vehicle.

On his way to Derry, he stopped to check on the consignment of drugs.

The judge at Londonderry Crown Court described Callaghan as an active courier, and said whatever the value of the drugs it was still a significant amount.

He said Callaghan got involved in what he called "this crazy scheme" because he was in debt due to his own cannabis habit.

PSNI Det Insp Tom McClure said the sentence was "the result of a substantial proactive investigation".

"The message from this sentence is clear: all those involved in the supply chain of large quantities of controlled drugs can expect to go to prison when they are caught.

"Police will work to ensure Northern Ireland remains a hostile environment for those who seek to benefit in any way from peddling the misery of drugs."