Three men jailed over 2kg of cocaine

Three men who admitted involvement with more than 2kg (4.4lbs) of cocaine have been jailed for a total of 16 years by Belfast Crown Court.

Belfast men Philip Devlin, 30, from the Antrim Road and Christoper Overend, 23, from Hillman Street, were jailed for five years.

Nigerian Abiodun Dahunsi, 36, of no fixed abode, was jailed for six years.

The judge said the men had been couriers for a "substantial quantity" of drugs.

However, he accepted their involvement had been in the "lowest category".

"I don't propose to put a value on it because values on drugs of this nature can be very inaccurate," he said.

"But it is clear that, had these drugs been released into the community, there would have been a severe impact on the lives of drug users, their families and society generally."

Devlin and Overend had admitted possessing class A cocaine with intent to supply on 8 May last year.

Dahunsi pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess the cocaine with intent.

A lawyer for the prosecution told the court how each defendant had played differing roles in the transportation of the 2.14 kgs of 80% pure cocaine.

'Remorse'

He said Dahunsi had admitted driving a man known only as "David" around Belfast on the day of the find.

The lawyer acknowledged that "David" seemed to be an organiser of the drug operation and that the Crown accepted Dahunsi was never in actual physical possession of the drugs at anytime.

The lawyer said the packages of batteries in which the cocaine was hidden had been sent from Mexico addressed to Devlin.

In turn, he said Devlin had brought in Overend "at a late stage" in the operation to collect the packages from a courier depot.

Police swooped and arrested the pair when they got out of a taxi on the Ormeau Road in Belfast.

The court heard that, despite Dahunsi giving a description and other information about "David" to police, he had not yet been arrested.

Defence lawyers for all three men submitted that none of trio knew the full extent, nature or worth of the drugs they were involved in transporting and had expressed remorse for getting involved.

Ordering the three men to serve half their sentences in jail and half on licence, Judge McFarland said he was making a distinction between Dahunsi and his co-accused because of his criminal record and that he was slightly higher up the drug chain.

He warned however that if caught and prosecuted, "David" would face around 10 years in jail.

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