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Cannabis couriers jailed

Three drugs couriers who were caught red-handed transporting 66 kilos of herbal cannabis have been jailed for a total of 12 years.

Jailing 22-year-old Paul Bennett, Lester Keating (41) and Kevin Sullivan (28) for four years each, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess said those who involve themselves in “this evil trade will have to face the consequences”.

Earlier he heard that Bennett, from Grove Terrace in Armagh, Keating, from the Corduff Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin, and Sullivan, along with 28-year-old Ciaran Parker and 42-year-old William Clarke, were arrested at a car park in April last year following a police swoop.

All five were arrested and each of them later pleaded guilty to possessing the cannabis with intent to supply while Clarke, from the Stump Road in Ballywalter, Parker, from Glebe Gardens in Strabane, and Sullivan, from Alexandra Gardens in Belfast, also pleaded guilty to offences of possessing criminal property relating to the uncovered cash.

Judge Burgess adjourned passing sentence on Clarke until next Tuesday and issued a bench warrant for Parker's arrest when he failed to turn up at court.

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