Drug couriers caught with £3,000 worth of cannabis in BMW on M1 at Rothwell

A pair of drug couriers have been jailed after police found around £3,000 worth of cannabis when they stopped a BMW on the M1 in Leeds.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:45 am

West Yorkshire Police officers made the discovery after searching the vehicle on February 27 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard the officers stopped the BMW in which Eduart Cerriku and Indri Lapa were travelling in on the southbound carriageway.

Andrea Parnham, prosecuting, said the vehicle came off the motorway at junction 44 in Rothwell.

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Leeds Crown Court

Cerriku was the driver and Lapa was in the front passenger seat.

The officers could smell cannabis but could not see into the vehicle as the windows were blacked out.

They opened a rear door and found a bag containing cannabis which had a street value of between £2,500 and £3,000.

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Both were interviewed and claimed they had been to Newcastle to buy the cannabis.

They claimed it was for their own use but said they would have shared the drug with friends.

Cerriku, 28, of Caledonian Road, Islington, Lonodon, and Lapa, 31, of Cross Green Lane, Leeds, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

The court heard both men are Albanian nationals who had entered the country illegally.

Phillip Mahoney, for Lapa, said his client entered the UK 18 months ago.

Mr Mahoney said he had worked in the construction industry in his home country for 12 years and has no previous convictions.

He turned to the offending as he was struggling to obtain employment.

Matthew Radstone, for Cerriku, said his client was struggling to earn enough money to support himself.

He had been doing a cash-in-hand job at a car wash at the time he agreed to transport the drugs from Newcastle to Sheffield.

Both men were jailed for nine months.

Judge Simon Phillips QC said: "This was clearly done for financial reward."