A truck driver who smuggled heroin worth an estimated $3.58 million with a shipment of strawberries has been arrested and sentenced. A receipt for a bottle of scotch whisky played a big role in determining his guilt.
Edmundas Bruzas, 56, was stopped by Border Force officers after arriving at the Port of Immingham, England from Rotterdam, Netherlands on March 25. Bruzas denied knowing about the heroin until he learned that a receipt for Grant’s Triple Wood Whisky he had bought was found next to the drugs, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency said Monday.
On Monday at Grimsby Crown Court in Grimsby, England, Bruzas, a native of Lithuania, admitted to smuggling the drugs and was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison.
The UK’s National Crime Agency said Bruzas told officers he had no knowledge of the 60 blocks of heroin found in his truck and said he had not been present when the cargo was loaded.
Bruzas declared 200 cigarettes and a bottle of whisky he bought before collecting the strawberries, but when his truck was searched, the receipt was found in a carrier bag in his cab next to the hidden drugs.
In custody, Bruzas admitted to buying the alcohol and said he did not know where he had put the receipt, according to the NCA. Once he was told the receipt had been found next to the heroin, he refused to answer any further questions.
Officers also discovered three mobile phones, a SIM card and a note reading “Are Customs doing a check on you?”
“It was impossible for Bruzas not to know his cab had heroin in it,” NCA operations manager Carl Barrass said after the sentencing. “When he realised we’d found his credit card receipt next to the drugs, he had no option but to admit his guilt.
“Bruzas’s conviction removes a drugs smuggler from an organised crime group which has also lost a significant amount of money that would have been ploughed back into further offending.”