Two men from Liverpool have been given suspended prison sentences after a consignment of skunk cannabis was tracked to an industrial unit in Elland last year.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Friday) how a package containing just over 30 kilograms of skunk cannabis had been intercepted by UK Border Force officers on its way from the Netherlands to West Yorkshire last April.
Prosecutor Nikki Peers said the cannabis, which was discovered at a postal centre in the Midlands, had a wholesale value of about £93,000, but if it had been sold on the streets in individual deals it could have been worth more than £300,000.
The real cannabis was replaced with “dummy packages” and then delivered to the unit in South Lane, Elland, by an officer posing as a Parcel Force delivery driver.
The court heard that 47-year-old Peter Bartley was at the unit when the delivery was made and he signed for the package using a false name.
Miss Peers said co-defendant Stephen Beeley, 42, then arrived in a van and the packages were loaded into the rear of his vehicle.
The pair were arrested by officers at the scene and during interviews with the police Beeley said he had been hoping to earn “easy money” when he was offered £1,500 to collect the package.
He said he didn’t t know what he was collecting but he knew it was “dodgy”.
Both men admitted attempting to possess the cannabis with intent to supply it to others and Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC sentenced them both to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.
The defendants will also have to do 150 hours unpaid work.
Judge Durham Hall said skunk cannabis was addictive and toxic and said the two defendants had been the “idiots” who had taken all the risks.