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U.K. man jailed for wheeling suitcase full of cannabis at busy rail station

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‘Anyone attempting to move commodities on the railway in this manner is extremely naive’

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A 41-year-old man caught last year brazenly wheeling a suitcase and carrying a backpack, both stuffed with weed, at Birmingham New Street rail station in the U.K. has been sentenced to two years and seven months behind bars.

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According to the Express & Star, the man was apparently making his way from Birmingham, where the station is located, to Aberdeen, having purchased a ticket with cash on the morning of May 11, 2022.

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  1. FILE: A sparse number of travelers at New Street Station on March 19, 2020 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. PHOTO BY DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES

    ‘Suspicious item’ that led to chaos at a train station in U.K. turned out to be a weed grinder in the shape of a grenade

  2. The parents of the children have each been charged with importing a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. / PHOTO BY RCMP

    Child’s suitcase used in smuggling bid involving weed, hash and cocaine

  3. Officers with the Hammond Police Department’s (HPD) narcotics unit intercepted the plane packed with pot on June 23 after it stopped at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport. /

    Learjet and the almost $1M in weed it was transporting seized

BBC reports the British Transport Police (BTP) previously reported the man “strolled” through the station that day before buying his ticket. The casual demeanour and what the authorities characterize as subsequent concerning and suspicious behaviour was noticed by station staff who then texted the police.

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Responding plain-clothes officers with BTP’s county lines task force stopped the man, notes a police Facebook post, reportedly while he was on one of the train platforms, per U.K. Daily News.

Authorities call bid ‘particularly brazen’

Express & Star reports the luggage was searched following a brief chat, with officers then finding Class B drugs, which include cannabis, in both the suitcase and backpack. In all, the cannabis weighed 7.4 kilograms.

Previously pleading to possessing a Class B substance with the intent to supply — a charge carrying a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both — the man was sentenced late last week to two years and seven months imprisonment.

Calling the smuggling bid “particularly brazen,” BTP Detective Constable Mohit Behl points out in the police statement that the service deploys a number of specialist units, including plain-clothes officers and drug-sniffing dogs “every day to tackle county lines activity. Anyone attempting to move commodities on the railway in this manner is extremely naive — we will catch you and bring you to justice.”

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Luggage and travel don’t always mix

Baggage and bud have proved fertile ground for police drug busts in recent years. And that appears to be the case regardless of whether travel is by air, road, rail or sea.

By plane, this past August, a 59-year-old man from Toronto was jailed after trying to smuggle more than 30 kilograms of cannabis in two suitcases into Barbados while at Grantley Adams International Airport.

By bus, in August 2021, about 9 kg of weed was found inside luggage on board a bus after sheriff’s deputies in South Carolina doing checks detected the vehicle’s skunky scent and carried out a search. Predictably, no one fessed up to owning the suitcases.

By train, in September 2020, a 60-year-old California man travelling by Amtrak train was busted with a suitcase full of cannabis in Illinois. The baggage contained just shy of 13 kg of marijuana stuffed into the man’s carry-on.

And by boat, a high-speed chase on the high seas in December 2021 ended when Spanish police catching suspected drug smugglers they had been pursuing, all the while watching the accused dump illegal hashish into the water.

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