1. ITV Report

Two jailed after £150k drugs haul

Police arrested the pair. Credit: PA Images

Two Spanish nationals who tried to smuggle £150,000 of cannabis into the UK in their suitcases have been jailed.

Leon Espada and Carlos Gonzalez-Cortes were arrested by the Border Force officials when they landed on the tarmac at Newcastle Airport on January 23.

Security guards had spotted something unusual when doing luggage security checks and decided to inspect further.

It was then that they uncovered a huge haul of cannabis that weighed 30 kilograms and had a street value of more than £150,000.

The drug smugglers were taken to Forth Banks police station where they were interviewed about the offences.

They admitted bringing the drugs into the country to sell on the streets of the North East.

Both pleaded guilty to a charge of importation of a Class B drug into the UK at magistrates court last month and now have been jailed for a total of 2 years and eight months.

This was a really huge seizure and it is amazing that these offenders thought they would get away with it.

They were bringing cannabis into this country with the intention of selling it to street dealers who would spread it across the streets of the North East.

Not only is cannabis an illegal drug but it brings with it a lot of associated crime which can have a devastating impact on many of our local communities.

With dealing of this scale we almost always find associated violence and disorder so it is important that we take illegal drugs off the street at the source of the problem.

I want to thank our colleagues at Newcastle International Airport and the UK Border Force who ultimately stopped this huge haul of drugs hitting our region.

– Detective Constable Frank Cox, Northumbria Police

At Newcastle Crown Court on Friday Leon Espada, 63, of Marbella, was jailed for 16 months and Carlos Gonzalez-Cortes, 46, of Malaga, was also jailed for 16 months.