A FORMER soldier who was caught bringing £20,000 of the illegal drug meow meow into Swansea has been jailed.
Jamie Birmingham was stopped by police on October 26 as he travelled along the M4 near Llandarcy and officers found the drugs, with a street value of £20,000 in a pillow case on the front seat.
He was arrested as part of a weekend of raids by South Wales Police in October, where they recovered £250,000 of drugs including cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and meow meow from homes in Llansamlet, Neath and Portmead.
At the time, officers said it was one of their biggest hauls.
Birmingham also admitted a second identical charge of possessing drugs with intent after he was found with them at his home in Walters Road, Neath, in June. It was on June 22 that officers on duty in Neath saw Birmingham, 30, driving a Ford Focus.
Prosecutor Creighton Harvey said: "They followed the defendant and as they followed him, it appeared he was fiddling or tampering with something. The officers stopped the vehicle and recovered a bag containing white powder from inside the sleeve of the handbrake."
Those drugs had a value of £120 and two further packets were found, one in his car and another in his clothes.
Officers then searched his home and found he had a plastic bag containing drugs worth up to £1,000.
He was bailed for this offence, before being re-arrested in October.
James Hartson, representing Birmingham, said his client had served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo, played amateur football and coached children's teams.
"Having served his country so well, it's therefore only further shame upon him that he has involved himself in drugs," said Mr Hartson.
Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, said: "This is a drug which has become more widespread throughout this area in recent months. It's causing serious problems in terms of its effect on people."
He jailed Birmingham for eight months for the June offence, and consecutive terms of 16 months for the October offence and eight weeks for breaching a suspended sentence.