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30 May 2011, 09:55
A 24 year old man from London has been jailed for six years for being a courier of heroin worth about half a million pounds on the streets.
The Class A drug was found in a Lidl carrier bag in the boot of a car stopped on the M1 near Hemel Hempstead in May 2009.
A much larger haul of heroin was found in a case in the same car, bringing the value of the seizure to £3 million, said the prosecution.
But a Judge said Mehmet Coban could only be linked to the smaller quantity after his fingerprints were found inside the carrier bag.
However, Judge Barbara Mensah told Coban at Luton Crown Court on Friday (May 27th): "Heroin is an expensive commodity and serious drug dealers would not entrust that amount of their precious commodity to an innocent courier.
"I believe you were in it for financial gain and possibly the thrill of associating with bigger players. You certainly were not the innocent dupe."
Coban, of Nightingale Road, Edmonton had pleaded not guilty to harbouring drugs but was convicted by a jury at the same court in April.
The jury heard that the driver of the car, Isfendiyar Hussan, 36, from Southgate was jailed in August 2009 for eight years after pleading guilty to possessing the heroin with intent to supply.
But the man believed to be the prime mover had fled the country.
Prosecutor Henrietta Paget said Coban was arrested in Sept 2009 and questioned about his contact with the Lidl carrier bag. He said he had taken it to another man, but was told it contained legal papers.
Kieran Vaughan, defending said: "He was used by others further up the chain. He has learned a lesson and should not have been hanging around with these people he was mixing with.
"He comes from a very respectable and decent family who are shocked that he has been convicted of such an offence. But they will be supportive and he is going to use his time in custody constructively."