Cairnryan drug duo Kieran Murphy and Laurence McAllister jailed
Two men from Northern Ireland have been jailed after being caught ferrying drugs in south west Scotland.
A court heard how a sniffer dog helped unearth the cannabis haul, worth about £500,000, in a horse lorry.
Laurence McAllister, 56, of Kells, County Antrim, and Kieran Murphy, 46, of Rathfriland, County Down, were convicted earlier this month.
McAllister was jailed for five-and-a-half years and Murphy was sentenced to five years in prison.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how sniffer dog Buster helped lead to the discovery of the 25kg of cannabis hidden inside bags of molasses in the lorry.
The drugs were worth in excess of £240,000 in Scotland, but their street value would have doubled in their destination of Northern Ireland.
Judge Lord Uist told the men: "This was a large and valuable consignment of drugs, which indicates drug dealing at a high level.
"The idea of using a horse box for the transportation of controlled drugs is a novel and ingenious one."
The judge said that whoever thought of it must have considered it "a foolproof method" of taking drugs to Northern Ireland.
Lord Uist said fortunately the scheme had been thwarted thanks to Buster.
He added: "Someone has lost a great deal of money as a result of the police discovery of these drugs."
The duo had denied being concerned in the supply of the drug in April this year but were found guilty by a jury.
The pair had travelled via Dublin to Holyhead to the UK mainland and were intercepted as they made their return to Northern Ireland.