Man jailed over huge cannabis haul
A criminal caught outside Belfast with £1 million-worth of cannabis was sentenced to six years in jail today.
Police said the seizure was the largest of its type in Northern Ireland for five years.
The 210 kilos of cannabis resin were found inside black bin bags when a people carrier owned by Matthew Tyrie, 50, was stopped in January last year at the Hillsborough roundabout as he headed south on the A1 Belfast to Newry carriageway.
Tyrie, of Knockleigh Walk, Greenisland, Co Antrim, was convicted by a jury at Craigavon Crown Court in December. He will spend three years in jail and three on licence. A serious crime prevention order was also imposed and will run for five years after he is released from prison.
Detectives from the organised crime branch believe him to be a member of a crime gang. Tyrie's vehicle is to be sold with the proceedings going to charity.
The seizure was the largest in Northern Ireland last year of any controlled drug, both in weight and in value, and was the biggest seizure of cannabis resin for five years in Northern Ireland.
Head of organised crime branch Detective Chief Superintendent Roy McComb said they were delighted to have taken £1 million worth of drugs out of circulation and welcomed the conviction and sentencing.
He said: "We have taken a substantial quantity of drugs off the street and have made our communities safer. We will continue to work to frustrate, disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups. We ask for continued support and information from the public so that we can make the world a smaller place for drug dealers."