An Essex man who was caught with cocaine and thousands of pounds in cash following a routine traffic stop in Inverness has been jailed.
Antoni Anastas, 31, was pulled over by police because he had a headlight out on his vehicle, but his red eyes and nervous presentation led to a drugs search.
Offices recovered the class A drug and cash from Anastas’ vehicle and more money was found at the address where he was staying.
Anastas appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously admitted being concerned in the supplying of a class A drug at Dunabban Road, Skinner Court and elsewhere.
At an earlier hearing fiscal depute Alison Young told the court officers stopped Anastas at the BP filling station in Longman Road at around 4.45pm on January 19 after spotting a light not working on his vehicle.
Red eyes led to drugs search
They noted Anastas seemed “very nervous” and had “reddening to his eyes” so detained him for a drugs search.
“On searching the vehicle they found £520 in the centre console and a digital scale with white powder within a shoulder bag in the boot,” Ms Young told the court.
A further search at Burnett Road Police Station found nine clear bags of white powder as well as £3,100 in cash.
Anastas claimed he was on holiday in the Highlands and staying with a friend at an address in the city.
A search of that location recovered more than £5,000 in cash, £4,800 under a bedside cabinet and £320 in a purse on a TV stand.
The drugs recovered were said to have a street value of £900.
Solicitor Duncan Henderson, for Anastas, told the court his client had, in fact, come to Inverness hoping to find employment.
Dealer Antoni Anastas ‘drifted’ into selling drugs
He said: “He had undertaken to do some work in Inverness. He tells me that was entirely legal but it has then drifted through to his involvement in the sale of drugs.”
Mr Henderson highlighted his client’s cooperation with the court process and early guilty plea and asked the court to deal with the matter in the absence of a presentencing report which had been delayed by jurisdictional issues.
Sheriff Matheson told Anastas, whose previous address was in Romford: “Courts throughout Scotland take the involvement today of those concerned in the supply of drugs very badly, there is no alternative but to a custodial sentence.”
She sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment backdated to June 6 when he was first remanded in custody.