A LORRY driver from Linwood who tried to smuggle millions of pounds worth of high-purity cocaine into Scotland has been jailed for 10 years.

David Murdoch, 56, and his accomplice Graham McCulloch, 39, were caught red-handed as they transported 59 kilos of the Class-A drug from England.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the massive haul had a maximum street value of almost £6million.

Murdoch and McCulloch were each handed a 10-year sentence when they appeared in court via video link today.

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An earlier hearing was told how a Mercedes van being driven by Murdoch as he ferried the drugs north of the border was searched and found to have a specially-created ‘hide’ in the rear which comprised of a concealed compartment operated by a hydraulic system.

Both men admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine between October 11, 2019, and May 19 last year in London, Kent and Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire.

They also admitted a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act of possessing more than half-a-million pounds in cash.

Police swooped on Murdoch's van and a BMW car being driven by McCulloch on the A74 at Ecclefechan on May 19.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney said: “The accused accept they each engaged in a course of conduct which involved the transporting and delivering of very large quantities of cocaine and the means of payment for the consignments.

“On the final two days of that period, one of these consignments of cocaine, weighing 59 kilos, plus £409,595 and 289,500 in Euros were recovered from the car and van being used by them.

"They accept joint responsibility for the drugs and cash seized.”

More than 40 blocks of cocaine were found in Murdoch's van, while a search of the BMW revealed a black rucksack with five blocks of the drug, as well as a suitcase containing bundles of cash.

As Murdoch was arrested and cautioned, he asked officers: “What’s the difference between supplying it and couriering it up?”

His lawyer, Tony Lenehan, said the lorry driver's line of work "made him attractive" to those behind the drugs and he got involved due to "weakness."

Sentencing Murdoch and McCulloch, who is from Airdrie, judge Lady Stacey told them: "Couriers are essential as, otherwise, the drugs do not get to where they are intended.

"Anyone involved who travels up and down from London to Scotland plays a vital part.

"I am going to impose heavy sentences due to the time and amount involved."

Lady Stacey said the jail terms would have been 15 years each but for the guilty pleas.

The pair were also hit with three-year Serious Crime Prevention Orders designed to restrict criminals' actions after they are freed from prison.

Murdoch faces a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act in Edinburgh in April.