A COCAINE runner has been jailed for three years.

Russell Edwards, aged 46, claimed he had no idea there was cocaine worth up to £19,000 in the boot of his BMW.

But a judge at Swansea crown court told him he had no doubt that he knew what he was doing and the risk he was taking.

Edwards, of Blaenwaun, near Whitland, had admitted possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said on May 5 last year police received information that Edwards was running cocaine into the area from Birmingham.

Officers stopped his black BMW 3 series on the A40 and found two bags of white powder hidden among fishing gear in the boot.

Edwards told them it was fish paste but they remained suspicious and arrested him.

On the way to Ammanford police station Edwards told them "it might be amphetamine."

But tests showed he had been running cocaine. One bag contained 63.2 grams at 71 per cent purity and the other 62.6 grams at 73 per cent purity.

Cut down, said Mr Thomas, the drugs had a street value of between £13,900 and £18,900.

Edwards gave evidence on his own behalf and told the judge that since a car accident in 1995 he had used cannabis for pain relief.

He said he had been unemployed and built up a debt to a dealer, who said it would be wiped out if he drove to an ASDA car park in Birmingham and collected a package.

He was on his way to Carmarthen to deliver the package when he was pulled over by the police.

Edwards said he understood the package contained amphetamine and not cocaine.

Judge Paul Thomas said he was confident that Edwards knew what he was doing and what he was transporting.

Edwards also admitted cultivating cannabis plants.

Officers who searched his home following his arrest found six mature cannabis plants in the living room and seven seedlings under cultivation in another room.

Edwards said after getting into debt by buying cannabis he had decided to grow his own.