A DRIVER who tried to get out of a fine for using his mobile phone while driving, instead led police to his lock-up where he was storing up to £365,000 of cocaine.
Andrew Botto has now been jailed for five years.
When he was pulled over by traffic officers on October 15, Botto tried to tell them he had left his phone at work and they were mistaken that they had seen him using it.
Prosecutor Geraint Walters said officers “smelled a rat” and searched his van, finding £3,000 in cash in his glove box.
After his arrest, officers found the phone in the back of his van and went on to search a number of properties linked to Botto, including a freight container on land on Penlan Fach Road.
They used his keys to open the container where they found the drugs which weighed just less than 1kg. Tests showed they were import strength of 66 per cent purity.
If they had been sold on the street in 1g deals, they would have made the dealer £365,000.
Botto, aged 26, from Wern Road Landore, said he had been asked to store the drugs and would have been paid when they were collected.
Christopher Clee QC told Swansea Crown Court his client runs Molly’s Mini Market on Wern Road and employs four part-time staff. He said he hopes his family can continue to run his business.
Mr Clee accepted that his client must have had some idea about the scale of the operation because of the amount of drugs he was storing.
Botto had admitted possession of the Class A drug with intent to supply.
Judge Paul Thomas told him he had provided a “valuable service” to the dealer.