A DRUG dealer snared in a £300,000 cocaine bust by a crack regional crime squad has been jailed for eight years.
Alexander Dobbing, 35, was given his sentence at Durham Crown Court, which heard he recruited Wayne Bruce to act as a courier.
Bruce was jailed for three years and four months.
The court was told Dobbing, of Burdon Walk, Castle Eden, prepared a Vauxhall Insignia and bought three mobile phones for Bruce to use to collect the drugs from Merseyside.
Lawyers for the pair said the drugs deal was not sophisticated, and police had not uncovered any other transactions.
Judge Simon Hickey said he accepted Bruce was only a courier, but still knew what he was doing.
In addition to the jail terms, Judge Hickey confiscated the Vauxhall car.
The finances of both men will be investigated to see if any other assets they have can be seized as the proceeds of crime.
Police found the drugs after pulling over the Vauxhall driven by Bruce, which in turn led them to Dobbing.
The packages, bound in brown packaging tape, put specialist investigators on the route to Dobbing’s door after they were found in the car which had links to him.
The blocks of cocaine weighed in at 2kg and tests revealed its purity level at 73 per cent, giving them a value of £300,000.
Bruce, 32, of Cedarwood Grove in Leechmere, Sunderland, was arrested on September 17 and initially denied knowing the package was in the car, but changed his plea to guilty to possessing a class A drug with intent to supply in December.
Days later, on December 10, Dobbing was taken into custody on the Scottish border and later admitted to conspiracy to supply cocaine.