A drug dealer has been jailed for carrying £50,000 heroin to the Westcountry from suppliers in Liverpool.
Lee Brislen agreed to take a large consignment of heroin and cannabis to Bodmin to pay off his own drug debts but was caught by traffic police at Cullompton.
The officers searched his car after detecting a strong smell of cannabis and found a quarter kilo of home grown drugs hidden in a carpet cleaner in the boot.
The car was taken to Cullompton police station from the M5 at Hele Straight and officers then detected the heroin hidden in a sock inside a removable door panel.
Brislen, 25, was bailed but went straight back to his home in Bodmin and started dealing heroin to try to pay back the suppliers for the consignment he lost, Exeter Crown Court was told.
His home was raided just four days later and he was found trying to hide pre-wrapped heroin deals in his underwear.
Brislen, of Margaret Terrace, Bodmin, admitted two offences of possession with intent to supply heroin and one of cannabis and was jailed for a total of four years and eight months.
Recorder Mr James Townsend told him he had chosen to become involved in the commercial distribution chain and continued to act as a street dealer even after he was arrested for acting as a courier.
Brislen’s former partner Holly Braithwaite, 35, of Rhind Street, Bodmin, was cleared of her part in the operation by a jury at Exeter earlier in the week after telling a jury she did not know about the drugs hidden in her car.
Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Brislen persuaded the driver to take him with her on a trip to the North West and then obtained the drugs which police found in the Citroen when it was stopped at Hele in February.
The cannabis was divided into nine bags, weighed about a quarter of a kilo and was worth around £2,500. The heroin weighed almost half a kilo and was worth around £50,000.
He said officers raided Brislen’s home in Bodmin four days later and recovered seven small wraps of heroin after seeing him fiddling with the waistband of his trousers.
Beth Heaton, defending, said Brislen moved to Cornwall from his home in Liverpool to escape his drug debts but dealers had caught up with him and bullied him into working for them.
She said he had been coerced into driving the drugs back to the South West and his reward was not to be payment but remission of his debt.
When he was stopped and the heroin and cannabis were seized, he was then pressured into street dealing to pay off his debt.
She said his role in the operation was lesser because he was acting under pressure and had no control over the distribution chain.