A TRANS Pennine drug courier caught in possession of a kilogram of heroin as he got off a train has been ordered to pay only £500 in crime proceeds.
Ryan James Barrass was arrested on the northbound platform at Durham Railway Station after arriving on a train from Manchester, at 6.15pm on Tuesday May 3.
Durham Crown Court was told he was carrying a JD Sports carrier bag containing a number of packages.
On examination of the contents, police recovered the kilogram of the class A drug from two packages.
Other packages contained a mix of painkillers and caffeine, used as a mixing agent in street deals of heroin, were also recovered.
Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said a police drugs expert estimated if the heroin was sold in street deals using the mixing agent additive it would have a potential value of £100,000.
The 24-year-old defendant, of Coronation Terrace, Stanley, was charged with a single count of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply to another.
He made a series of appearances at court, via video link from Durham Prison, over the summer before pleading guilty to the charge on a basis he was acting as a courier.
The court heard messages were found on his phone suggesting some form of dealing, but it could not be proven and so he was eventually sentenced on a basis that he was a trusted courier of the drug consignment from Manchester.
Barrass received a prison sentence of 64 months at the court in September, and Judge Christopher adjourned confiscation proceedings pending a proceeds of crime investigation to see what money could be recouped from the defendant.
Following completion of those inquiries the case came back to court for the Proceeds of Crime hearing, at which Barrass appeared via video link from Holme House Prison in Stockton, where he is now serving his sentence.
Miss Lamballe said the confiscation figures were agreed between all parties.
She told the court the defendant benefited from his crime by an estimated £9,885, but the available amount for confiscation was only £500, money seized from the defendant by the police earlier this year following his arrest on unrelated matters.
Dan Cordey, for Barrass, agreed with the figures and so Judge James Adkin made the order to confiscate the seized £500 which remains in the hands of the police.