A Co Antrim businessman who was behind the largest seizure in Northern Ireland of the banned ‘4-MEC’ drug has been handed a five-year sentence.
Kristopher Darren Scott, 33, a father-of-two from Frosses Road in Dunloy, was told he will serve half the sentence in prison, with the remainder spent on licence upon his release, after he admitted a single charge of importing the Class B drug Methylethycathinone – similar to Mephedrone – on November 27, 2013.
The drugs were smuggled from China and hidden in a consignment of children’s toys destined for Scott’s KSL Toys company.
A total of 24kgs of the drugs were found wrapped in silver packaging – making it the biggest local haul of the illegal substance to date.
Jailing Scott, Judge Patricia Smyth told him: “This was a sophisticated, carefully planned criminal operation in which you played a leading role.
“There is no question these drugs were intended to be distributed in the community. These are very dangerous drugs that have caused serious harm, particularly to young people.”
Earlier this week, Belfast Crown Court heard how Scott was out to make a “quick profit” from drug smuggling – and that he stood to gain between £96,000 and over £240,000 from the smuggled Chinese drugs.
Prosecution lawyer Robin Steer said that after the drugs were seized, Scott was arrested and denied knowing anything about the drugs which were in containers for so-call ‘robotic fish’.
Scott also initially claimed these robotic fish were never part of his order for children’s ‘ride-on cars’. However, the court heard that the drugs, from a Chinese biotech company, were paid for through nine international money transfers paid over two days in September 2013.
Judge Smyth said she accepted Scott was ashamed of his actions, and the impact his period of imprisonment will have on his family.