Six years for man caught with huge cannabis haul

Cannabis plant, generic image.
Cannabis plant, generic image.

A criminal caught outside Belfast with £1 million worth of cannabis was sentenced to six years in jail yesterday.

Police said the seizure was the largest of its type in Northern Ireland for five years.

The 210 kilos of cannabis resin were found inside black bin bags when a people carrier owned by Matthew Tyrie, 50, was stopped in January last year at the Hillsborough roundabout as he headed south on the A1 Belfast to Newry carriageway.

Tyrie, of Knockleigh Walk, Greenisland, Co Antrim, was convicted by a jury at Craigavon Crown Court in December. He will spend three years in jail and three on licence. A serious crime prevention order was also imposed and will run for five years after he is released from prison.

Detectives from the organised crime branch believe him to be a member of a crime gang. Tyrie’s vehicle is to be sold with the proceedings going to charity. The seizure was the largest in Northern Ireland last year of any controlled drug, both in weight and in value.