Two young women who were paid £300 each by crime lords to smuggle £75,000 worth of cannabis into Scotland have walked free from court.

Breuklyne Jeffers and Tamica Reid-Foster, both just 18 at the time, were arrested after a guard discovered 5kg of cannabis hidden inside two seemingly abandoned suitcases on a near-empty train from London Euston to Edinburgh.

Investigations revealed the pair, who claimed to be attending a funeral, were acting as drug mules for a crime gang amid the third Covid-19 national lockdown.

They boarded the 6am Avanti West Coast train at Wolverhampton with instructions to deliver the drugs to traffickers in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Suspicion arose when the suitcases were found, and Jeffers and Reid-Foster, the only passengers in their carriage, attempted to flee the train at Wigan North Western station but were stopped by staff.

Breuklyne Jeffers (pictured) and Tamica Reid-Foster, both just 18 at the time, were arrested after a guard discovered 5kg of cannabis hidden inside two seemingly abandoned suitcases on a near-empty train from London Euston to Edinburgh

Breuklyne Jeffers (pictured) and Tamica Reid-Foster, both just 18 at the time, were arrested after a guard discovered 5kg of cannabis hidden inside two seemingly abandoned suitcases on a near-empty train from London Euston to Edinburgh

Investigations revealed that Tamica Reid-Foster (pictured) and Breuklyne Jeffers, who claimed to be attending a funeral, were acting as drug mules for a crime gang amid the third Covid-19 national lockdown

Investigations revealed that Tamica Reid-Foster (pictured) and Breuklyne Jeffers, who claimed to be attending a funeral, were acting as drug mules for a crime gang amid the third Covid-19 national lockdown 

Police examined their mobile phones and discovered photos of the women smoking cannabis and texts referring to the sale of the drug.

It emerged that Jeffers had made at least three trips, while Reid-Foster had made two.

A review of Jeffers’ bank account showed thousands of pounds passing through it.

At Bolton Crown Court, the women, now 21, faced up to 14 years in prison after admitting possession of class B drugs with intent to supply.

However, they received suspended sentences after both claimed to have ‘turned their lives around’.

Reid-Foster, originally from Wolverhampton but now living in Ardwick, Manchester, and is studying psychology at university, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Jeffers, from Highgate, Birmingham, a single mother to a one-year-old son with severe health issues, initially denied wrongdoing but was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Prosecutor Jane Dagnall said the women were working on behalf of organised criminal groups supplying cannabis from Birmingham to Scotland, particularly Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. 

Police examined their mobile phones and discovered photos of the women smoking cannabis and texts referring to the sale of the drug. A review of Jeffers' bank account showed thousands of pounds passing through it.

Police examined their mobile phones and discovered photos of the women smoking cannabis and texts referring to the sale of the drug. A review of Jeffers’ bank account showed thousands of pounds passing through it.

The pair boarded the 6am Avanti West Coast train at Wolverhampton with instructions to deliver the drugs to traffickers in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen

The pair boarded the 6am Avanti West Coast train at Wolverhampton with instructions to deliver the drugs to traffickers in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen 

‘At 8:45am on January 13, 2021, seemingly abandoned suitcases were found on the Avanti Euston to Edinburgh train,’ Dagnall said.

‘Cannabis was found in the suitcases packed in clear visible plastic bags. There were two bags of cannabis in one case and three in the other. British Transport Police were notified about the discovery.

‘It was during the height of the Covid pandemic and the seats were fairly empty due to the travel restrictions. Two lone females – these defendants – were in the carriage where the suitcases had been discovered. They had tickets for Edinburgh and denied all knowledge of the suitcases.’

Dagnall said that after getting off the train at Wigan North Western, they were stopped by British Transport Police but denied any knowledge of the suitcases.

Subsequent investigations confirmed their involvement.

Both women had no previous convictions.

Sentencing, Judge Abigail Hudson acknowledged the serious nature of their crime but recognized their efforts to change.

‘This offence was so serious that custody is appropriate,’ she said.

‘Given the changes that you have undergone, given the real efforts you have made to avoid any offending behaviour since 2021, and given the guilty pleas you have entered, in my judgement it is possible to draw back from immediate custody today.’

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