A DRUGS runner who was caught with a suitcase full of cannabis in the boot of his car has been jailed.
Police uncovered nearly £120,000 worth of the drug when they stopped Matthew Arthur in Gosport.
The 39-year-old had driven down from Kent with the drugs destined for the town’s streets.
Sergeant Simon Goss, who spotted his Peugeot on the A32 and stopped Arthur in Bedenham Lane, said: ‘It was a routine stop-check.
‘The suitcase was bulging full of cannabis.’
Arthur was jailed for a year at Winchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of a class B drug with intent to supply.
Sgt Goss, from the roads policing unit’s proactive crime team, said: ‘It’s a good result. We will do what we can to identify people that bring drugs into our area, disrupt them and hopefully get successful convictions.
‘The sentence shows the courts will deal with these people stringently because they are coming into Hampshire, bringing their drugs and the misery it causes.’
Dad-of-one Arthur, of Byron Avenue, Margate, claimed he was offered work by a man in a pub to deliver goods and did not know it was cannabis at first.
The court heard that he would have quickly realised the suitcase was full of drugs due to the strong smell and the fact that it was bulging open.
Since his arrest in July he has refused to name the man who paid him to bring the drugs to Gosport.
After he was caught, Arthur, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, told the police he had delivered drugs twice and been paid £250 each time.
In all, he had 12kg of high quality ‘skunk’ cannabis divided into 12 packages wrapped in plastic bags, with a street value of £119,000.
Susan Meek, defending, said Arthur had a three-year-old daughter and was desperate for money.
Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, from the roads policing unit, said: ‘This is another excellent example of what a team of proactive officers, through effective tasking and briefing, can achieve.
‘In the past 12 months this team of officers have had in excess of 300 arrests and seized in excess of 1,000 vehicles.’