A man has been jailed for 15 months after being caught trying to smuggle £54,000 of cannabis out of a Lancashire port.
Robert Allen, 36, was trying to transport the drugs to the Isle of Man after running up a drug debt with dealers.
But as he tried to board a ferry at Heysham port he came to the attention of the authorities and was stopped in his tracks.
Guards watched a Ford Focus arrive at the port at around 10.50pm on July 27.
A woman got out of the car and collected two tickets for the Isle of Man ferry from the terminal building before being driven away in a Vauxhall Corsa, driven by Allen.
But shortly after they arrived at the secure boarding area they were approached by police and told to get out of the car.
A holdall was found in the boot, containing 76 bars of cannabis resin weighing 9oz each, totalling almost 20kg of the drug.
Paul Humphries, defending,told Preston Crown Court Allen had run up a cocaine debt with dealers before Christmas and had received threats to his family.
He had been asked to stab someone and set fire to houses and cars to repay his dues, the court heard.
On July 27 Allen was given the car in Liverpool and instructed to collect the tickets from the terminal..
Mr Humphries said: “He knew there was something in the car.
“He was to go to the Isle of Man, book in somewhere and await further instructions by phone.”
Allen pleaded guilty to possession of class B drugs with intent to supply.
Judge Simon Newell said: “Your role was as a courier of these drugs. We know the distance the drugs were being taken and we know the role that you had.”
He jailed Allen, of Chevin Road, Liverpool, for 15 months.