A Derry man and a man from Dublin have been sentenced for their part in the importation of nearly £2 million worth of heroin into the North.
Sean Doherty (42) of Cornshell Fields in Derry admitted possessing the drugs with intent to supply on July 11 last year and Anthony Morgan (29) of Eaton Green in Dublin admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs on the same date.
The court was told that a lorry being driven by Doherty was stopped on the Foyle Bridge in Derry and a van being driven by Morgan was travelling behind it.
Doherty immediately told police there were drugs in the van.
When Morgan was asked his name he gave police a false name and the van was taken to Maydown PSNI station to be searched. No drugs were found in the van.
At interview Doherty told police he had gobe to Scotland to collect a load of concrete and while there he received a phone call threatening both hm and his family.
As a result he said he went to a service station in Carlisle and was given the drugs then returned to Ireland n the ferry. He first met Morgan at Campsie outside Derry but claimed that he was not happy due to the darkness of the area and suggested meting at a service station but on the way there he was stopped by police.
Morgan told police he had gone to Strabane on business and then had got lost for 3 and a half hours. When arrested he had more than 4000 euros on him and said it was to buy a car.
The court was told that the heroin was almost 70% pure and was packed into 16 packages. It was also said that it was accepted that neither man was central to the drugs operation and were simply couriers.
A defence barrister aid Doherty had run up debts of more than £6000 and had been pressurised to take part in the operation.
It was said that Morgan had become involved in taking drugs and had run up debts and that both men regretted their involvement.
Judge Des Marrinan said the supply of Class A was a 'serious offence' and that Class A drugs killed people.
He said that this case involved almost 8 kgs of heroin that would have been broken down by dealers to increase the quantity.
Doherty was sentenced to a period of five years in prison of which two and half would be in custody and the rest on licence. Morgan was sentenced to four years in prison of which two would be in custody and two on licence.