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‘You were not the masterminds’ blasts sheriff as men from Inverness and Balintore had £40k of cannabis in sports bag on A82

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Two drugs couriers who sampled some of their illegal cargo were described by a sheriff as "blindingly stupid" after hearing a police car's officers smelt the cannabis as they travelled on the A82.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told they turned the police vehicle around near Invermoriston at around 3.45am on June 2, 2022 having initially been concerned about 26-year-old Nathan McKee's manner of driving.

But as they followed McKee's black Nissan Qashqai, they could smell the class B drug and a stop and search was carried out under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

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McKee, of Lochalsh Court, Inverness was accompanied by 28-year-old Ian Campbell, of Harbour View, Balintore and they were carrying around £40,000 worth of cannabis, weighing 3kgs, in a black sports bag.

After being taken to Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness, McKee told officers that he had picked up Campbell who had put the bag on the back seat of the car.

Defence solicitors Graham Mann and Natalie Paterson told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald that both men were acting as couriers and their roles were at the lower end of the chain.

They asked the sheriff not to jail their clients.

Instead, Sheriff Macdonald placed both, who had admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, to 270 hours of unpaid community work and remain under two years of social work supervision.

She added: "If you get involved in couriering drugs you have to expect a jail sentence. It was blindingly stupid what you did and obviously you were not the masterminds behind this.

"It was a dangerous thing to do putting yourselves at risk of prison but I will give you a chance. However if you put a foot wrong you will come back and you will go to jail."

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