Glasgow & West Scotland

Man jailed for 16 months over £142,000 cannabis haul

Stirling Services Image copyright Google
Image caption O'Connor was caught during a police operation at the M80 Stirling Services

A man who helped transport 50 kilos of cannabis resin with a street value of £142,850 has been jailed for 16 months.

Francis O'Connor, 41, from Carfin, North Lanarkshire, was caught during a police operation at the M80 Stirling Services on 30 September 2014.

He was seen putting two boxes into a van which were later found to contain 200 blocks of cannabis resin.

O'Connor's fingerprints were found on the boxes and he later admitted being concerned in the supply of the drug.

Jailing him at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Graham Buchanan told O'Connor: 'This is a very serious offence because of the quantity and value of the cannabis resin.

"I have decided because of the seriousness only a sentence of imprisonment applies."

Surveillance operation

The court heard that the organised crime and counter terrorism unit of Police Scotland were conducting an undercover surveillance operation at Stirling Services.

At about 09:45, O'Connor was seen in a white transit van outside the Travel Lodge Hotel.

He moved items inside the van before driving off. Five minutes later he returned and parked beside a Mercedes Vito van.

O'Connor then met up with the driver of the Mercedes van, John Donaldson, and handed him two large cardboard boxes.

These were then placed in the back of the Mercedes van. Donaldson drove off and was stopped by police at 10:00.

Officers found 50 kilos of cannabis resin divided into 200 blocks and forensic examination showed that O'Connor's fingerprints were on the boxes.

O'Connor, who has 13 previous convictions for assaults and road traffic offences, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin.

Donaldson, who was sentenced in January 2015, also admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin. He was jailed for 30 months.

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