Drug dealer who fled to Spain is jailed for £1.25m cocaine and heroin haul

James McMahon, who left the country after he was granted bail, has been jailed for more than six years.

James McMahon: Drug dealer has been jailed.

A drug dealer who was caught with a £1.25m heroin and cocaine haul has been jailed for more than six years.

A judge told James McMahon he had willingly contributed to a trade that "brings misery and death to its victims".

McMahon, 51, was originally caught with the class-A drugs in 2006 but after he was granted bail by a sheriff he fled the country for Spain. After he returned to Scotland he was arrested by officers in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

Lord Tyre said at the High Court in Edinburgh: "I regard this as a very serious offence. Police regarded it as a very significant seizure in Scottish terms."

McMahon had denied being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin on August 7 in 2006 at Tinkers Lane, Motherwell, Asda car park at Palace Grounds Road, Hamilton and elsewhere.

He was found guilty by a jury. McMahon did admit failing to turn up for a court date at the High Court in July 2007 after being granted bail at Hamilton Sheriff Court on August 9 in 2006.

Defence counsel Niall McCluskey said there was no evidence that the father-of-two had profited from his involvement in the drugs offences.

The six and a half year sentence was welcomed by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA), who initially arrested McMahon on the drugs offences after an operation.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of investigations of 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.

"Today's sentencing demonstrates that drug dealers are not above the law and others should sit up and take note.  We are using all means at our disposal to identify who they are, to put them out of business and ensure they are brought to justice for their crimes, no matter how long this takes.

"We will continue to target drug dealers and I would urge the public to support us.  Anyone who may have information on drug dealers in their community should contact their local police office and they can report their suspicions anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

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