Judge fires warning to drug dealers in 'evil' drug trade
A Belfast judge has warned anyone involved in the "pernicious, evil trade" of drug dealing will be jailed when caught.
The warning came from Judge Geoffrey Miller QC as he sentenced a 50-year-old failed Chinese asylum seeker to two-and-a-half-years for a morning's involvement in drug dealing.
Ping Ma, he said, was an "unwilling patsy" and a very small cog in what appeared to have been a highly organised machine.
This is the second time this week that Belfast Crown Court has sentenced members of the Chinese community for involvement in a drugs and cash postal racket which was smashed by police as part of a major investigation into illegal drug distribution.
Judge Miller said that the "drugs industry, for that is what it is, is a pernicious, evil trade which preys on the weak and vulnerable and destroys tens of thousands of lives".
Earlier, prosecutor Gary Purvis told the court that Ma was caught on his first drug delivery run, on December 7 last year, although it was accepted that he did not know the type of drug he was transporting.
The drug later turned out to be 7kg of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of £140,000.
Mr Purvis said it was accepted that Ma had just moved into a house, which was under police surveillance, after a package, with the return address of Oakley Street, Belfast, posted from a north Belfast post office to south east London, was found to contain £50,000 in cash.
Ma, who faces deportation after serving half of his sentence in prison, admitted possessing the class B drug with intent to supply.