A PAINTER and decorator caught with £2m of high-purity cocaine has been jailed for six years and nine months.

Richard Eadie was snared on November 15 2019 in a van on the M74 northbound near Abbington, Lanarkshire.

The 39-year-old turned to crime to try and pay off a drug debt.

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Glasgow Times:

The haul had a purity as high as 76% with a potential value of between £1.6m and £2m.

Eadie, of the city's Garthamlock, was today sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Lady Stacey said: "I regard the role as courier, where people transport drugs, to be a vital role in the trade.

"I accept you were in debt and this was a way out of that.

"I do not accept you did not have any choice as you could have refused to be involved in this.

"It is a pity to see someone such as yourself, who is ordinarily a hardworking person, in the high court."

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Glasgow Times:

Prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel earlier told how police were "suspicious" when they clocked boxes in the front of the hired Ford Transit given the space in the back.

They had already received a tip-off that drugs were on board.

Police went on to discovered 20 taped blocks inside each holding 1kg of cocaine.

Thomas Ross QC, defending, told the court that Eadie, who has a previous convictions for drugs possession, had ran up his debt by purchasing cocaine on credit.

The advocate added: "Having got in debt without money, to settle it, his options were clearly limited and he made what he said was a bad decision to become involved."