A man has been jailed after being caught trying to bring £60,000 Class A drugs to the north-east.
Paul Green first came to the attention of plain-clothed police officers as he made his way from Liverpool to Aberdeen because he was not wearing a Covid mask.
When officers later stopped him at Wigan Railway Station, they asked why he was not wearing a face covering.
He initially told officers he was getting off at Wigan before becoming evasive and admitting he was travelling to Aberdeen. A search revealed he was carrying half a kilogram of heroin and 100 grams of crack cocaine.
The officers, from the County Lines Taskforce, also discovered he was carrying two mobile phones.
The 38-year-old previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply, and has now been jailed for three years and four months.
Detective Inspector Matt Davies from the BTP, which has stepped up its campaign to tackle drug dealers movements across the country, said: “Clearly Green was using the railway to export drugs from Liverpool to Aberdeen for his own financial gain.
“His brazen efforts to travel a considerable distance with a large quantity of Class A drugs did not pay dividends thanks to the proactive work of our officers.
“Whether you see us or not, our dedicated officers are patrolling the rail network daily to tackle the movement of drugs and illicit cash across the country and disrupt the County Lines business model.”
Green, from Liverpool, was stopped on January 13.
He admitted the offence at Bolton Crown Court on February 10, and was sentenced on Thursday.
Our Impact team has been investigating criminal exploitation and the impact organised crime gangs can have on vulnerable individuals by forcing them to take part in illicit activities, such as drug trafficking.