A dad has admitted dealing drugs in Aberdeenshire after he was found in a car with thousands of pounds worth of cannabis.
Arnis Pauc left Manchester with a haul of almost £40,000 of the class B drug and headed for the north-east after dealers warned him he needed to pay off his own debt.
Police received information about the operation and discovered the 44-year-old, along with another man in the vehicle, on the A92 Stonehaven to Inverbervie road with the drugs.
Pauc admitted committing the offence, which took place on August 26, 2011, when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.
The court heard Pauc had accumulated debt from his own cannabis use and felt forced into acting as a courier to pay it off.
His solicitor John McLoone told the court Pauc, of 28 Cobden Street, Warrington, suffered from “significant medical problems” including HIV, which in part led to him committing the offence as he had no other way of paying back his debts.
Mr McLoone added his client was a married family man who had never received a custodial sentence before.
He urged Sheriff Graham Buchanan to order reports so an alternative to custody could be considered, given his medical difficulties. Pauc will return to court next year.
Meanwhile, a serial drug dealer was jailed for more than four years yesterday after he admitted being involved in the supply of heroin in Aberdeen.
Thomas McMullen, 54, admitted committing the offence when he appeared at the city’s sheriff court.
Fiscal depute Anne Macdonald told the court officers had received information about the class A drug being supplied from 156 Inchbrae Drive.
On September 9 a search warrant was carried out at the address and McMullen was found inside. She told the court he was searched and found to have around £500 worth of heroin in his pocket.
A further £14,000 of the drug was found in a black plastic bag buried in the garden of the property and hidden under the wheelie bin.
McMullen, who was released early from a prison sentence last year for committing the same offence, was ordered to return to prison for seven months to serve the rest of that sentence.
He was then sentenced to three years and six months for the most recent offence.