A THORNTON drug trafficker was jailed for six years after police discovered he was growing a cannabis crop when he was caught with a consignment of heroin.
Colin Conway, who appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, was stopped driving north to Glasgow from Liverpool with almost half a kilo of heroin and enough bulking agent to produce £350,000 worth of the drug for street sale.
But when detectives told him they were seeking a search warrant for his home in Thornton, he also revealed that there were cannabis plants growing in the loft.
Police found a total of 62 plants under cultivation which had the potential for a harvest worth up to £33,000.
A judge told Conway: “You claimed to have committed these two offences in order to pay off a drugs debt.”
Lord Uist pointed out Conway (43) of Strathore Road, Thornton, had previously been jailed for drugs and assault and said: “Your previous record shows you are no stranger to the criminal lifestyle.”
The judge continued: “Those who become involved in the drugs trade, even if they do so to pay off a debt, must know that when brought to justice they will have to pay the price for their evil activity.”
He told Conway that he would have faced nine years imprisonment for the crimes, if he had been convicted after trial.
Conway admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply it on January 4 this year on the M74 road near Abington, South Lanarkshire.
He also pled guilty to producing the Class B drug cannabis at his home in Thornton on January 5.
Advocate depute Douglas Fairley said the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency had received confidential intelligence that a Vauxhall Astra was travelling north with drugs.
Police stopped the car shortly before midnight with unemployed Conway driving and an initial search found latex gloves, a spoon with powder and five kilos of the bulking agent bash.
A further search of the car revealed almost half a kilo of heroin hidden underneath a passenger seat.
Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said Conway’s involvement with both the heroin and the cannabis was linked to a debt which he was told would be reduced if he grew the cannabis plants in his home.