A drug dealer was caught driving through Perth with £24,000 worth of cocaine hidden in his car.
Police recognised the Vauxhall Astra driven by Joseph Elvin as a vehicle used by a known gang of organised criminals.
Elvin was pulled over outside McDiarmid Park, as he drove along the city’s Crieff Road in June 2019.
His car was searched and two blocks of class-A cocaine were found stashed inside the driver’s door.
Investigators also found tell-tale text messages on two phones recovered from the vehicle.
Elvin, of Dumbarton Road, Clydebank, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on Tuesday and admitted being concerned in the supply of the drug between June 3 and June 18, 2019.
Drugs found in car search
Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said the car was spotted by police just after 6pm on June 18.
“At that time, it was noted that this vehicle was being utilised by an organised crime group.
“Police officers immediately instructed the vehicle to stop by activating their lights and sirens.
“The vehicle was successfully brought to a halt on Crieff Road, at the entrance to McDiarmid Park.”
Secret stash of drugs found
The 48-year-old was detained, handcuffed and put in the back of the police car.
Mr Sweeney said the Vauxhall Astra was then taken to Perth Police Station and police found two knotted polythene bags containing blocks of white powder – weighing 124g and 129g – hidden under the electric window button on the driver’s door.
Two mobile phones were also recovered from the front of the vehicle.
Elvin was interviewed by police that evening.
“He gave a general no comment interview and denied all knowledge of the articles recovered,” said Mr Sweeney.
“He said he was asked to take the car to Perth and attempt to sell the vehicle.
“From the mobile phones recovered there were conversations with a contact who appears to have given the accused an instruction for collecting and delivering different quantities of unspecified items.”
Mr Sweeney told the court: “The two blocks together would have a value of about £8,000, with a maximum potential illicit value of between £12,000 and £24,000, based on being sub-divided into single gram deals.
“There was also DNA from the accused on both of the blocks.”
Solicitor Gail Campbell urged the court to release her client on bail.
“He is someone who has led a pretty exemplary life, and has worked for various financial institutions including Clydesdale Bank and Direct Line.
“But things fell apart with his separation from his long-term partner.”
She said after a period of unemployment, her client had recently gained a job as a delivery driver for B&Q.
“This is work that has benefited his mental health considerably.
“He is effectively back on his feet, but he is well aware that custody is at the forefront of your lordship’s mind.”
Sheriff William Wood told Elvin: “The quantity of drugs recovered are significant and there were mobile phones found, which you denied knowledge of, nor offered an innocent explanation for.
“In these circumstances, it seems to me that it is appropriate you are remanded in custody while reports are prepared.”
Elvin will return to court for sentencing on June 1.