Cookstown trucker denies smuggling cannabis
A trucker has gone on trial in Kent accused of smuggling drugs concealed in a load of frozen chips into the UK.
Nigel Donnelly (43) of Old Rectory Park, Cookstown, has pleaded not guilty to smuggling nearly £1m worth of cannabis.
He was arrested at Dover on February 17, 2010, with 339kg of a class B drug concealed in a load of frozen chips destined for Ireland.
Prosecutor Cameron Brown said Donnelly drove his refrigerated truck into the scanner hall and was taken to a waiting room while the vehicle was scanned.
Officers noticed a difference between the density of the load and front pallets near the fridge motors. When spoken to, Donnelly said he was carrying a load which included chips and various foodstuffs.
It had been loaded in Holland but Donnelly says he did not watch that because he was asleep.
The load was checked in Calais, with officers climbing right over it and Donnelly said it was the first time he had done the trip.
Two boxes at the front of the load were searched. Inside were bags of frozen chips with bags of herbal cannabis between them.
These boxes had been taped up but all the other boxes were glued. In total 340 bags of herbal cannabis were removed.
The trial continues.