Glasgow & West Scotland

Heroin and cocaine trafficker James McMahon jailed

A man who fled to Spain after being caught with cocaine and heroin worth about £1.25m has been jailed for six and a half years.

James McMahon, 51, was bailed in August 2006 after being caught with a haul of the class A drugs in Lanarkshire.

He failed to turn up for court the following year and was arrested on his return from Spain in 2011.

McMahon was jailed him for six years for the drug crime and a further six months for his failure to appear.

McMahon was arrested on 7 August 2006 as part of an operation led by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA).

Drugs hidden

Officers observing a white van parked in Tinker's Lane, Motherwell, became suspicious when they saw an man enter the van and then leave a short time later with an item concealed in his jacket.

Strathclyde Police officers later arrested the driver, McMahon, in the Asda car park at Palace Grounds Road, Hamilton.

When the van was searched officers recovered 14 kilos of heroin and 3.2 kilos of cocaine hidden behind the plywood panels in the rear of the vehicle.

McMahon was granted bail at Hamilton Sheriff Court two days after his arrest but failed to appear for a High Court trial the following year.

He was arrested in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, in November 2011, after returning to the country from Spain.

McMahon was convicted at an earlier hearing of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin.

He admitted failing to turn up for a court date in July 2007 after being granted bail.

Jailing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Tyre told McMahon that he had willingly contributed his services to the promotion of a trade that "brings misery and death to its victims".

The judge said: "I regard this as a very serious offence. Police regarded it as a very significant seizure in Scottish terms."

Speaking after McMahon was jailed, Det Ch Supt Tony Mole, head of investigations at SCDEA, said: "As a result of our investigation we prevented a significant amount of illegal drugs from reaching the streets and causing untold harm in our communities.

"A drug dealer is also now serving a much-deserved prison sentence."

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