A ‘desperate’ American husband has been spared jail after smuggling three suitcases of cannabis into the UK to pay for his pregnant wife’s medical care in Texas.
Coryon Ross, 35, was stopped by customs officials at Heathrow Airport after arriving in London from Chicago in January.
Upon searching his luggage, they found eight pounds of skunk cannabis worth around $16,000 in five packages, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
Ross had travelled with three suitcases – a black, a blue and a grey – which were ripped open with bolt cutters when he refused to hand over the keys.
The sports therapist had acted out of ‘desperation as his wife was pregnant and the couple did not have any healthcare in the US, the court heard.
It was said the pair had lost all their money after falling victim to fraud and were in the process of being evicted.
Ruxana Nasser, prosecuting, said: ‘He admitted he has carried those drugs into the UK. As a courier he gained $4,000 by this transaction.’
Liam Loughin, defending Ross, said the man’s wife had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia – a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and after labor.
He said: ‘His wife is pregnant, she is now diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. They had lost one child due to miscarriage.
Judge Jonathan Ferris told Ross: ‘You have pleaded guilty to the importation of cannabis.
‘This was on the basis of a one-off escapade to rise out of your extreme financial distress and the particular domestic difficulties you were under at the time which continue.
‘You are 35 years old and a citizen of the United States, you are resident in Texas, perhaps not the best state to be resident in the United States.
‘You have no previous convictions in the United States, which is supported from a number of documents.
He was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.