No jail sentence for £400,000 Carronshore cannabis kingpin
A middle aged businessman involved in a three-year £400,000 cannabis smuggling operation was allowed to walk free from the High Court in Edinburgh earlier today.
Joseph Tobin (50), of Carronshore, was caught by police after they discovered how he and his accomplices – Kathleen Kerrigan (48), of Falkirk, and James McCroary (32) of Grangemouth, were bringing large quantities of the class B drug into the country.
The court heard how the trio received parcels containing the cannabis from abroad, with the substances received at Glasgow Airport before being sent onto addresses in the Falkirk area.
Detectives got wise to their scheme after airport staff became suspicious about the contents of the packages.
The three accused all pled guilty earlier this year to being involved in the supply of cannabis at various locations in Scotland between November 3, 2015 and February 25, 2016.
Tobin’s defence advocate Lorenzo Alonzi told judge Lord Glennie his client had a garage business in the Falkirk area.
He added: “He has built a business. He employs people.”
Mr Alonzi also told the court that despite having a business, Tobin and his wife had financial problems at the time of the offences.
He said: “They were just getting by.”
George Pollock, representing Kerrigan, said his client’s “benefit from the offence was extremely modest in comparison to the actual value of the drugs seized”.
The court heard roofer McCroary had became involved in the criminal activity due to having a “crisis in his finances”.
Lord Glennie ordered Tobin, who has previous convictions, to perform 300 hours unpaid work and placed him on a supervised community payback order for three years.
The judge told Tobin, who has previously served time in prison, the community payback order was a direct alternative to custody.
He added: “Your case has given me much food for thought. You have already served a custodial sentence, although that was a long time ago. Since then you have been involved in petty prime.
“I have heard how you have built up a business and you employ people.”
Kerrigan and McCroary were each ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work and placed on supervised community payback orders for two years.