Man jailed for smuggling drugs into Scotland disguised as pet food

A man who tried to smuggle controlled drugs worth thousands of pounds into Scotland disguised as pet food has been imprisoned for four years and two months.

A man who tried to smuggle controlled drugs worth thousands of pounds into Scotland disguised as pet food has been imprisoned for four years and two months. 

Packages addressed to Toby Bishop, 21, of Glenogil, Angus, were sent from Germany and declared as cat food.  

But when UK Border force officers inspected one of the parcels, they found a quantity of ecstasy tablets later estimated to have a street value of £84,430 if sold in £10 batches. 

Bishop was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh after pleading guilty to two charges of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug. 

The court heard the packages were opened in July 2022 at the Coventry International postal hub and were labelled Adult Brakes Cat Food. 

Inside, however, officials discovered a haul of around 8,400 ecstasy tablets. 

Following the discovery, officers from the National Crime Agency arrived at Bishop’s home where they found bags containing cannabis in a bedroom and several cannabis plants being grown inside a polytunnel in the garden. 

The court heard the potential value of the cannabis was approximately £11,250. 

Bishop’s phone was later analysed and found to contain images of plants growing in the tunnel as well as price lists for controlled drugs. 

Moira Orr, who leads on homicide and major crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “This was an attempt to bring a significant quantity of illegal and harmful drugs to Scotland through a brazen deception. 

 “This man is now serving a prison sentence following a multi-agency operation to investigate and prosecute the supply of controlled drugs.  

 “We are targeting all people who threaten communities across Scotland, not only drug couriers but also those who direct their movements. With each case of this kind, we can help reduce the harm these drugs inflict on those communities.” 

Detective Chief Inspector Steven Elliott, of Police Scotland, said: “This conviction and sentencing sends a clear message to anyone who is involved in organised crime that the supply of illegal substances will not be tolerated in our communities.  

“It also underlines Police Scotland’s commitment to the Organised Crime Partnership and Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, in line with the country’s Serious Organised Crime Strategy. 

  “The public continues to play a vital role in assisting our investigations, and anyone with any concerns about drugs, or who has information about those involved in drugs, should contact Police Scotland on 101 or make an anonymous report to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111." 

NCA Scotland Operations Manager Rob Miles said: “Toby Bishop made only futile attempts to hide his delivery of MDMA tablets, using cat food in the hopes of avoiding detection. 

  “MDMA can be an extremely potent drug and this amount of tablets reaching the streets of Scotland could have had a catastrophic impact on our communities. 

  “We will continue to work with partners to disrupt wholesale importations like this and protect the public from the serious and organised crime.”