An unemployed baseball player who brought high-purity cocaine with a potential street value of up to £1.28m into one of the country’s busiest airports has been jailed for eight years.
Mexican Juan Guerrero, 37, carrying more than 2kg of the class A drug in his suitcase when he arrived at Glasgow airport on October 13, last year.
First offender Guerrero, who was in financial difficulties, took on the job to get money to help to pay for medical bills and repairs to his family home, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.
The “substantial quantity” of drugs was intended for the hands of dealers in London.
Jailing Guerrero, Judge Lady Smith said she would recommend he be deported at the end of his sentence.
She told him he could have got life. “It is essential given the ongoing pernicious and damaging illegal trade in drugs that the sentences imposed must reflect that fact.”
Guerrero had earlier admitted one charge of smuggling the drug, which was 89 per cent pure, into Scotland.
He had been approached about transporting the drugs in a town on the border between the United States and Mexico and was offered $7,000 (£4,300), of which he received $2,000 (£1,230).
He was stopped at Glasgow airport. His suitcase was heavy after having been emptied and X-rays showed hidden items. Five silver foil-wrapped packages were found containing layers of black oil, carbon paper and plastic. Inside the plastic layer there was some white foam containing cocaine.
Experts extracted 4.6lb (2.1kg) of cocaine base from the foam; the 89 per cent purity far exceeded the UK national average purity of 13 per cent to 26 per cent.
At the lowest common street deal, it would be worth between £320,000 and £640,000.
However, the court heard the average street purity in the west of Scotland is nearer five to six per cent. At that level the cocaine could be worth £640,000 to £1.28m.