Stansted Airport drug smuggler caught with more than £10,000 of cannabis is jailed
PUBLISHED: 09:52 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:52 17 May 2018
A drug smuggler who hid more than £10,000 worth of cannabis in his suitcase lining was sentenced to 15 months in prison, after the drugs were found by border officers at Stansted Airport.
Pedro Lobato Andrez, 36, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, after pleading guilty to smuggling 3.98kg of cannabis resin into the country on April 14.
Andrez and his girlfriend had been living in the UK together and were hoping to start a family before Andrez committed the offence, Chelmsford Crown Court heard on May 14.
Mitigating, Steven Levy said Andrez, who is from Portugal, was experiencing “financial” issues before he flew to Morocco where the drugs were put into his luggage.
Mr Levy said part of Andrez’s motivation to commit the offence was to solve his financial problems and start a family with his partner. He added that Andrez was not involved in distributing the drugs at a local level.
He asked the judge, David Turner QC, to pass the shortest sentence possible “given the circumstances”.
Speaking for the prosecution, Charlotte Davison said Andrez was clearly aware of the amount of cannabis he was taking into the country, telling the court that he corrected officers at the airport when they told him 7kg had been found.
She added that wholesale, the drugs were worth about £3,200.
Judge Turner told Andrez, who appeared via video link from Chelmsford prison, that the drugs had an estimated street value of £11,500 and said: “You made a very bad mistake indeed when you decided to go to Morocco”.
Addressing the court, Judge Turner said that cannabis is not perhaps such a significant social evil as other drugs, but it often acts a gateway to heavier substances.
He said Andrez had reached the age of 36 without falling foul of the law, but his life would be significantly affected by his actions, and he would very likely be deported.
Judge Turner said that his “task is to pass the shortest sentence of 15 months imprisonment” after which the UK Border Agency would exercise its right to begin deportation proceedings.