A MOTORIST who was stopped for speeding on the M6 by police was discovered to be smuggling £100,000 cocaine cargo in his car.

Lee Murphy, 37, was heading north on the M6 towards Carlisle in a BMW X2 at around 9am on June 30. He was pulled over by members of Cumbria’s road policing team close to Tebay.

“Upon speaking to him, officers became suspicious as he was vague as to his travel plans,” prosecutor Andrew Evans told Carlisle Crown Court today (mon).

A search of the BMW revealed a large box on the back seat which contained 993g of 78 per cent purity cocaine from a single block that had been broken in three.

This was potentially worth up to £100,000 if sold on the street, a drug expert had concluded.

Police also recovered from the car two smart phones — one of which was used to give him instructions during his journey — and a basic Nokia “burner” device with no battery.

Murphy admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply on the basis that he was a courier, taking drugs to Carlisle for someone else. He was due to have been paid £300 which was to have been knocked off a debt he had built up over a couple of months.

Murphy had become addicted to the class A drug having taken it to relieve pain arising from a serious industrial accident several years earlier.

Police had also recovered what was believed to be a car GPS signal jamming device from a storage compartment beside the steering wheel. But in the accepted basis of plea, it was stated on Murphy’s behalf: “The GPS blocker was not active and had been purchased by the defendant some months earlier when he discovered that someone was tracing his vehicle with an Apple Air tag, and he feared being kidnapped.”

The court heard Murphy had 22 previous offences on his record, including kidnap and assault in 2005 for which he had received a five-year jail term.

Recorder Peter Horgan accepted Murphy, of Alderley, Skelmersdale, had been out of trouble since 2010 due to a positive relationship with his partner and three children; that he was self-employed despite the ongoing disability; and that he had shown remorse and insight into the cocaine crime.

But, jailing him for 34 months, Recorder Horgan said: “The impact of class A drugs on members of the public and society is wholly devastating and well known in the community. And therefore the sentences passed by the courts are always to dissuade others from partaking in that trade.”