A MAN caught travelling into Aberystwyth by train with almost 140 wraps of class A drugs hidden in his body has been jailed.

Zak McDonald, 21, of Calshot Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, was tracked by local police through a phone after officers became aware of a new drugs line operating in Aberystwyth, known as the Kane line.

Police tracked the phone, which had been sending bulk messages to drug users in the region and arrested McDonald whilst the defendant was travelling from Birmingham to Aberystwyth by train.

McDonald was found to be in possession of the drug line handset, a return train ticket, and a quantity of cannabis.

Police officers believed McDonald had drugs concealed in his body and he was taken to hospital, where he refused to be scanned.

Swansea Crown Court heard that natural bowel movements subsequently produced two bags containing 70 wraps or crack cocaine and 68 wraps of heroin, with a street value of more than £2,700.

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said if the quantity of drugs recovered on 12 March had been indicative of the quantities carried on the previous occasions police identified the phone in Aberystwyth the total value of the drugs shipped could be more than £22,000.

Analysis of phone data in the run-up to the arrest showed the had made nine trips from Birmingham to Aberystwyth between January and March.

McDonald, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply, possession of heroin with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of cocaine, being concerned in the supply of heroin, and possession of cannabis when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Hannah George, for McDonald, said his story was one with which the courts were all too familiar in so-called county lines cases where a young, vulnerable person was exploited by more criminally sophisticated people “further up the chain” to take the risk of transporting their drugs.

She said the defendant had tried to distance himself from peer pressure in the community and was doing an apprenticeship in engineering but then on the last day of term at college he had been stabbed, a traumatic event which was followed by the deaths of three of his aunties and a series health diagnoses for his mother.

Recorder Simon Hughes accepted there had been an element of exploitation and pressure being applied to the defendant by more serious criminals.

The recorder said the appropriate sentence after trial would have been one of three-and-a-half years in prison - but with a discount for his guilty pleas McDonald was sentenced to a total of 28 months in prison.