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A 54-year-old man with a "mid-level position" within a criminal gang has been jailed on charges linked to the seizure of 18 kilos of cannabis

A 54-year-old man with a "mid-level position" within a criminal gang has been jailed on charges linked to the seizure of 18 kilos of cannabis

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A 54-year-old man with a "mid-level position" within a criminal gang has been jailed on charges linked to the seizure of 18 kilos of cannabis

A 54-year-old man with a "mid-level position" within a criminal gang has been jailed on charges linked to the seizure of 18 kilos of cannabis.

Cheng Fang Zheng, from Duncairn Gardens in Belfast, was handed a 21-month sentence at Belfast Crown Court.

Zheng, who appeared via a videolink with Maghaberry, will serve half his sentence in prison, and half out on licence.

He admitted three charges dating back to last October - namely possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, and possessing a false passport.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC said the charges related to the seizure of 18 kilos of cannabis and the interception of a further six kilos of the drug.

On October 20 last year, staff at TNT Fedex at Nutt's Corner contacted Border Force services regarding a suspicious parcel that was addressed to 'Tommy Chen' at Duncairn Gardens.

The parcel originated in France, was said to contain bedding, but when searched by officials it contained six kilos of cannabis.

It emerged that a similar parcel had already been delivered to the same address, and on October 30 police launched a search operation at the flat in Duncairn Gardens. When officers arrived, they saw Zheng outside property with two black suitcases. He was stopped and when the cases were searched, officers discovered nine kilos of cannabis.

When Zheng's flat was searched, a false passport was located along with further quantities of the Class B drug, scales, gloves and cash.

A second property linked to Zheng was searched, where an additional eight kilos of cannabis was located in two suitcases.

Zheng was arrested and made no admissions about the drugs during interview.

As he sentenced Zheng, Judge Fowler said he didn't believe Zheng's denials.

Judge Fowler also noted that Zheng entered the UK illegally and will be deported back to China.

Belfast Telegraph