A 33-year-old man who helped to transport cocaine for an organised criminal gang has been handed a suspended sentence.
Michael Anwyl was one of three men arrested after police found four kilograms of cocaine in a vehicle they stopped and searched in Co Antrim.
Anwyl, from Irwin Drive in Limavady, appeared at a remote hearing of Belfast Crown Court via a videolink with his solicitor's office, where he was handed a sentence of three years, suspended for three years.
The self-employed tyre fitter admitted a charge of conspiring with two other men to supply the Class A drug. Both co-accused received suspended sentences for the offence last summer. Judge Stephen Fowler QC said the charge related to a police operation on November 30, 2017.
Officers stopped a Volkswagen Passat, which had been under surveillance, on the Ballyrobin Road near Templepatrick, and when the vehicle was searched, the drugs were located in the rear of the car.
The cocaine had been cut into 32 blocks, amounted to 3.96 kilograms and was of a street-level purity with a wholesale value between £60,000 and £120,000.
Two men who were in the car when it was stopped were arrested, while Anwyl - who had exited the vehicle just before it was stopped by police - was also detained.
During an interview, he gave a 'no comment' response, but later admitted his involvement.
As he sentenced Anwyl, the Belfast Recorder said his role as a courier was "to assist in the transportation of the cocaine on behalf of an organised criminal gang."
Saying that he was taking into account the amount of time Anwyl had served on remand, the support he is currently providing to his family through his business and the sentences received by his co-accused, Judge Fowler imposed the suspended sentence.
The Judge warned Anwyl that any further offending within three years could lead to prison.
When asked if he understood this, Anwyl replied: "I do. Thank you for giving me a chance."