A DRUGS courier was arrested carrying £15,000 worth of cannabis in two Aldi freezer bags and with £9,000 in his pockets.
Feriz Arifaj was caught red-handed by police coming out of a house in Cwmbran suspected to have recently used a cannabis factory.
Nuhu Gobir, prosecuting, said the defendant was arrested on the town’s Chapel Street by Detective Constable Gareth Mansell.
Arifaj had been dropped there by a man driving a black Mercedes car at around 1.30pm on Saturday, June 12.
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“The defendant came out of the premises carrying two heavily laden Aldi freezer bags,” Mr Gobir told Cardiff Crown Court.
“DC Mansell could smell the distinct aroma of cannabis.
“The officer approached the defendant, who looked startled, and placed the bags on the ground.”
Inside the bags was 3kg of cannabis which had a potential street value of between £9,600 and £15,000.
After being searched the defendant was found with the £9,000 in cash.
Arifaj, 51, of Pontnewydd Walk, Cwmbran, admitted possession of a class B drug with intent to supply and money laundering.
He pleaded guilty on the basis that he was acting as a courier.
Probation officer Adrian Witts told the court the defendant, who was following proceedings in Albanian through an interpreter, had no previous convictions.
“He said he was doing a friend a favor,” he said.
Mr Witts said Arifaj was a married man who had “no issues with drugs” and who had been assessed as presenting a “low risk of reoffending”.
The judge, Recorder Mark Cotter KC, sentenced the defendant to a 12-month community order during which he will have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Arifaj is set to face a proceeds of crime hearing on December 23.