Drugs mule caught at Edinburgh Airport with 35 kilograms of cannabis worth £400k is jailed
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A drug mule who was caught attempting to import more than 35 kilograms of cannabis at Edinburgh Airport has been jailed for two years.
Isabella Carrasco flew from her home in Los Angeles to London with a suitcase packed full of the Class B drug earlier this year. Carrasco, 21, then took a flight to Edinburgh a few days later where border control officers stopped her and searched her luggage.
The officers subsequently discovered the huge amount of drugs - 36.5 kilograms worth around £400,000 - concealed within her suitcase. Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Carrasco was working in a gentleman’s club in LA when she was recruited to bring the drugs to the UK and she had travelled alone in February this year. She stated she knew what was in her luggage but she did not realise how much cannabis she was attempting to bring into the country.
The court heard Carrasco she did not pack her own luggage and that she “did not indicate being placed under any pressure to participate” in the lucrative operation. Following her arrest the former hairdresser told officers her flight tickets had been bought for her and the suitcase had been provided by those who recruited her.
She said she had been using alcohol, cannabis and cocaine to aid her mental health while previously working in the gentleman’s club.
Carrasco pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis to others at Edinburgh Airport on February 22 this year when she appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month. Sentence had been deferred for reports and she was remanded in custody.
Carrasco was back in the dock at the city centre court on Friday where solicitor Alistair Murphy, defending, said his client was just 20 years old at the time of the offence. The lawyer said Carrasco’s involvement in the drug operation had been “demonstrative of complete immaturity” and she had been “fully cooperative” in the preparation of the social work report.
Sentencing, Sheriff Derek O’Carroll said: “You pled guilty at the earliest stage to a very serious offence. “There is no alternative in my view to a custodial sentence because of the nature of the offence.
“In my view you did perform a significant role in the smuggling operation of a very substantial amount of cannabis. The starting point is four years custody, however there are a number of mitigatory factors referred to by your solicitor.
“Notably you have no previous convictions and also your remorse and also more importantly your age. I also have to take into account your guilty plea.”
Sheriff O’Carroll sentenced Carrasco to serve a custodial sentence of 24 months backdated to February 23 this year. Carrasco was also told she will be deported back to the US when she is released from prison.