Two illegal immigrants caught with two separate caches of drugs face deportation after they finish their jail terms for drug dealing.
Belfast Crown Court heard that the Chinese pair, Hailiang Jiang (35) and 34-year-old Yun Biao, were caught following a police undercover operation last December.
Jiang and Biao were jailed for a total of four years each, after they jointly admitted possessing 20kg of freshly harvested herbal cannabis and several other offences.
Prosecutor Ian Tannahill said that on December 5 last year undercover officers identified Jiang close to a house in Greenore Street in the Woodstock area of east Belfast.
Some time later he was arrested in a taxi which had picked him up from another address at Woodland House in Rush Park. In a holdall was 3kg of cannabis.
Mr Tannahill said that in a follow-up search of Woodland House officers uncovered £9,000 in cash together with counterfeit tobacco and packaging.
In a further follow-up raid in Greenore Street the second accused was arrested.
In one room was 20kg of freshly harvested cannabis being dried off.
Solicitor advocate Stephen Toal said Jiang was little more than a courier who had been used and abused by more sinister elements.
Defence lawyer Mark Farrell for Biao described his client as being little more than a “a patsy” who had been exploited by those making the profits.
Mr Farrell said that he had ended up working for only board and lodgings, and what little money he got he sent home to China to his wife and two children.