Published: 13/01/2017 15:03 - Updated: 13/01/2017 15:32

Highlands drug dealer fled to Marbella

Marek Samczuk is led away to start his jail sentence
Marek Samczuk is led away to start his jail sentence

An Inverness restaurant manager has been jailed for 20 months for his role in supplying cocaine to the Highlands.

Marek Samczuk, (42), formerly of Farraline Court, Inverness, had to be extradited from Marbella where it is believed he worked as a bodyguard for wealthy clients.

He fled the country after being caught in a police drugs surveillance operation and sentence was deferred for reports on him last month.

Samczuk had spent almost 19 months on the run in the Costa Del Sol.

But the Crown Office successfully applied for a European Arrest Warrant and Samczuk was brought back to this country in September and has been remanded in custody since.

Last month at Inverness Sheriff Court, he appeared in handcuffs before Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood and admitted being concerned in the supply of just over 1kg of cocaine, worth around £51,000 on the street.

The class A narcotic was of 50 per cent purity, around four times what is normally sold in the Highlands.

Fiscal depute Michelle Molley said: "He appeared on petition in this court on December 9, 2013 and was granted bail.

"But he did not attend this court when he was supposed to on February 10, 2015 and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Marbella.

"He was arrested and returned to Scotland, and appeared in this court on September 15, 2016."

Ms Molley told the sheriff that police had received intelligence that couriers were travelling to Inverness by bus to deliver drugs to Samczuk.

A surveillance team was set up and officers saw the two men meet with Samczuk before one returned to his flat.

The two couriers then booked into a guest house in Midmills Road where police were watching.

Ms Molley went on: "One man was seen to dispose of a T-shirt, underwear and other items which suggested the drugs had been concealed internally."

She added that Samczuk was seen to pass the guest house twice before meeting one of the other men outside.

"He was detained a short time later nearby and he had two Pringles crisp tubs containing white pellets and a silver set of scales. A search warrant was obtained for the guest house room used by the couriers and £3520 in cash and €30 was found."

The two couriers were later detained.

Defence solicitor Graeme Mann said last month his client had never been in trouble before. "There is nothing to suggest he was engaged in a drugs network," he said.

When Samczuk returned to court on Thursday to learn his fate his Mr Mann stated again his client had never been in trouble before and the value of drugs came as a surprise to him.

He said his role in the operation was a minor one and he had been more of an intermediary and was not involved in any transaction.

A co-accused was jailed for 18 months three years ago and Mr Mann said Samczuk’s period on remand had been a very anxious time for him.

"He is someone I do not believe you will see in court again.

"I have not seen anyone who has suffered so emotionally and got involved in something like this so foolishly."

Jailing him for 20 months, Sheriff Fleetwood backdated the sentence to September 2 when Samczuk was taken into custody.

The sheriff said his involvement in the crime was the same as his co-accused.

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