Man caught with safe full of heroin in Falkirk
A 29-year-old man was caught removing a safe containing heroin worth £270,000 from a property in Falkirk has been jailed for three years.
Darren Heeps was seen leaving the address in Church Place by police who were about to carry out a drugs raid.
He was carrying a rucksack containing a locked metal safe. When forced open, a large quantity of drugs was discovered.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that he was removing the safe for a man who had earlier been detained by police.
A key recovered from Heeps' car was found to be a match for the safe which had contained 2.7 kilos of the Class A drug.
Heeps admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin between 25 November and 12 December last year.
Drugs experts said the amount of heroin found had the potential to reach a maximum value of £270,000 if broken down into smaller quantities.
Following Heeps' detention, £10,000 in cash was found during a subsequent search of his home in Beech Crescent, Dunipace.
Speaking on his behalf, defence counsel Niall McCluskey said that, although Heeps had offended before, he "does have an awareness about the negative effect that drugs have on society as a whole. He acknowledges his actions were very stupid".
Judge Lady Carmichael told Heeps his sentence would have been four and a half years in prison was it not for his early guilty plea.
Det Sgt Stuart Broadie said Heeps was found in possession of "a significant quantity of heroin and cash, which demonstrated his involvement in the supply of drugs within Falkirk and the surrounding area".
He added: "Thanks to vital intelligence from the local community we were able to carry out enforcement activity and ensure that heroin destined for distribution on our streets was seized before it could do untold harm."