Drug courier jailed - Northolt

26/05/2017

Police stopped a Range Rover on the A40 at Northolt and found nearly 4 kilos of cocaine.

The car belonged to Albanian national Ilir Durishti, aged 37, who was today, Friday, 26 May 2017, jailed for 42 months and told by a Judge he may face deportation.

Prosecutor Edmund Blackman told St Albans Crown Court that at five past ten at night on Wednesday, 30 March this year the police stopped his black Range Rover Sport. He was alone in the car and, in a JD Sports Bag in a footwell behind the driver's seat, were four packages in brown taped bags. Each pack contained cocaine. One weighed a kilo and the other three each weighed 999 grams.

The prosecutor said the drugs had a high purity level - one package was a 73 per cent, two at 83 per cent and one at 84 percent. "It indicates he was fairly high up the supply chain," he said.

Durishti of Kenworthy Road, Clapton, London E9 appeared for sentence via a video link from Bedford prison. He had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply. He had no previous convictions in the UK.

In a basis of plea, put before the court, he said he received a text message to go to Oxford to pick up a package. He said: "When I arrived someone put a bag in the car. I never touched the bag. I was supposed to deliver it to Finchley in London. I was not going to sell the package. I suspected the package was drugs. I was simply acting as a courier."

Nick De Freitas, defending, said Durishti was a courier driving a package from A to B. He asked for credit for his plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Judge Andrew Bright QC told him: "You were very close to those smuggling cocaine into this country. The prosecution accept you were a courier. You were an important part of the operation. You may not be legitimately in this country. This conviction renders you liable to be deported by the Border Agency.  I direct they should look at your position as regards your immigration status. It will be for them to decide."

In addition to the custodial sentence, the Judge ordered the 2005 registered Range Rover to be forfeited and the drugs destroyed.

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