Two Lithuanian nationals have been jailed after they were caught in possession of £60,000 worth of cocaine last year.
Edmundas Gedvilas, 63, of no fixed abode, and Raimondas Zilionis, 41, of Mourne Crescent, Coalisland, were stopped travelling a long the Armagh Road between Armagh and Newry on May 29, 2020.
A previous court hearing was told that the vehicle was owned and driven by Gedvilas with Zilionas being a front seat passenger; the men explained that they had been returning from visiting a friend in Dublin.
It was stated that police conducted a search, during which one kilogram of cocaine was located concealed under the carpet in the rear of the vehicle.
Prosecution submitted that this had a street value of around £60,000.
Gedvilas was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on Wednesday for one count of Possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
Zilionis was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment for two counts of Possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
Both men will serve half their sentence in prison and the rest on licence.
Welcoming the sentences, Detective Inspector Shaw, said: “I welcome the conviction of both Gedvilas and Zilionis following the recovery of these drugs in May 2020 after police stopped and searched a vehicle under the Misuse of Drugs Act on the Armagh road between Armagh and Newry. On completing a search of the area officers located an amount of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of over £60,000.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to both preventing dangerous drugs from ending up in local communities and pursuing those intent on destroying lives through the supply of illicit drugs.
“Drug dealers seek to make profit at the expense of causing harm and loss to local families. They set out to ruin the communities that they operate in and they do not care about the damage that they cause, preying on the most vulnerable members of their communities.”
Detective Inspector Shaw said the police would continue to “robustly and proactively” pursue those intent on damaging local communities by supplying illegal drugs.
“I would appeal for anyone with information regarding the supply of illegal drugs to contact police on 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”