Two men admit bringing £100k of cocaine in to Norwich
PUBLISHED: 16:46 24 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:46 24 October 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Two illegal immigrants have been caught trafficking a kilo of cocaine worth up to £100,000 into Norwich from London.
Adison Neziri and Abedin Jata were observed by police in a taxi in Norwich last summer dropping off a "classic county lines reload".
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Norwich Crown Court both men had come to the UK from Albania, but it was unclear how long they had been here.
They came to the attention of police in Norwich on July 31 when officers spotted a Prius minicab pick up a passenger - Neziri - on Lawson Road.
"The car was driven to Bell Road near Sprowston Road and Neziri got out of the car," said Mr Jackson. "Carrying a carrier bag he went in to the alleyway and disappeared from view. A short while later he returned to the car and all three were arrested.
"Neziri had on him a set of keys with which police were able to open a flat on Sprowston Road.
Sitting on a chest of drawers in that flat was a block of cocaine of 995 grams. Five grams shy of a kilo at 61pc purity."
Three further packages were found with 34.4 grams of cocaine of 91pc purity, along with paraphernalia including digital scales, latex gloves, cling film, knives and three mobile phones.
In total the drugs had a street level value of up to £100,000.
"This is a classic county lines reload," Mr Jackson said.
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Both Jata and Neziri both admitted drug dealing.
Philip Misner, for Jata, 24, said he was acting as a courier.
He set out the circumstances in which he said Jata got involved in drug dealing to Norwich Crown Court.
But the court heard Jata was unwilling to give police the pin for two mobile phones that were seized from him.
And Judge Andrew Shaw said he was not willing to sentence Jata without the basis of his plea being explored.
Mr Misner said the taxi had been booked by a man the driver knew as 'Albanian Tony', and while Jata did not know Neziri or Albanian Tony, he was "fully aware" of what he was getting himself into.
When his account was challenged he asked the court to "forget everything I just said".
But Judge Shaw said his story had the potential to be "considerable mitigation" and adjourned the case.
David Stewart, for Neziri, said he came from a "respectable family" in Albania and came to Norfolk to find work.
Judge Andrew Shaw adjourned sentencing for the defence to put forward written bases of plea.
"The law about the basis on which defendants are to be sentenced for their crimes is clear," he told them. "In this case it has not been followed and this is a very serious matter for the two of you."
Jata, of no fixed abode and Neziri, of Sprowston Road, will return to Norwich Crown Court on November 29 for mention.