Man found with ?30k worth of cannabis in the boot of his car
A man who had entered the UK illegally was found with around £30,000 worth of cannabis when police stopped and searched his car. Drilon Dani was stopped by West Mercia Police in Chepstow earlier this year when officers found eight large bags of the drug in the boot.
A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Thursday, March 30 heard Dani, 33, of no fixed abode, had travelled through Ross-on Wye on January 26 this year and onto Monmouth before the car he was driving was stopped by officers in Chepstow. On searching the vehicle, police recovered two iPhones and in the boot found eight large bags of cannabis weighing around 6.3 kilograms and worth around £29,560.
Dani was arrested and told Gwent Police he had been sleeping rough and been taken in by two men. He said he had spent time in London where he was told to drive to a postcode provided to him by the men. He said he was told to “meet someone” and was given £200 and told there would be “problems later on” if he didn’t drive the car he was given. He added that he didn’t know there was cannabis in the car until he smelled it and was unaware of the quantity of the drug in the car until police stopped him.
The court heard Dani had previously come to the UK illegally from Albania in the back of a lorry. He had worked several jobs since arriving, including in car washes and construction work, but that this work had dried up due to his immigration status.
Mr Peter Donnison, defending Dani, explained that the defendant was of clean character without any previous convictions and that he had pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply. He said Dani had “paid £25,000 to travel to the UK” and that this debt “remained outstanding”, adding: “It is a sad situation which I’m sad to say you will have seen in many cases.”
Recorder Sean Bradley told Dani he believed he had “some understanding” that he was involved in a drug plot but conceded that he had “no influence on those above” him in the operation and had been “playing the courier role.” Dani was sentenced to six months in prison, reduced from eight owing to his guilty plea. He will serve part of that sentence in custody before being released on licence for a period of 12 months, with a risk of returning to custody if he breaches the conditions of that licence. Dani will be subject to immigration authorities after his release, and will have to pay a £154 statutory surcharge.