Johannesburg – A 33-year-old man was this week sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted on charges of dealing in narcotics, and for being in possession of a fraudulent identity document.
Illegal immigrant Kenechukwu Paul Nnodu had been arrested on two occasions by the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department's drug enforcement unit for possession and dealing in heroin, cat, crystal methamphetamine, nyaope and dagga.
He was sentenced last Monday, EMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said on Sunday.
"His first arrest was in July 2016. His second arrest was effected in August of the same year when he was out on bail for the first case," he said.
Both Nnodu’s cases were combined and the trial ran for 18 months.
"On the first case he was sentenced to five years for dealing in narcotics, while on the second one he was handed a 15-year sentence for also dealing in narcotics," he said.
Nnodu was also sentenced to 12 months for the two additional charges of a fraudulent identity document and being an undocumented person, said Kgasago.
"Much of the criminality committed is the result of drug abuse brought about by heartless drug dealers and I would wish to applaud the efforts of both the prosecution and the EMPD drug enforcement unit members for the concrete and credible evidence submitted that led to the successful prosecution of Nnodu", said EMPD Chief of Police Isaac Mapiyeye.
Mapiyeye said he hoped that the public would view Nnodu's sentence as proof of the EMPD's efforts to root out drug dealers and "save our young citizens from this scourge".
Cash, drugs confiscated
In another case, a 43-year-old foreign national was expected to appear at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court this week on charges of possession and dealing in drugs.
Drugs valued at approximately R55 800 were seized during his arrest in Alberton North on Friday, said Kgasago.
"The EMPD drug enforcement unit received information about a suspected drug dealer residing in Alberton North. Following the surveillance of the location provided by a reliable source, the metro police were able to effect an arrest," he said.
Close observation of the suspect's residence was conducted over a period of a week.
"Once the drug enforcement unit members were convinced the information was accurate, they pounced on the address on Jacoba Street at 11:00," he said.
Kgasago said they uncovered 12.9mg of crystal methamphetamine, 148g of heroin and 78.5g of cat when they raided the suspect's home.
"Cash amounting to R1 994.50 suspected to be proceeds from the illicit trade was also confiscated," he said.
The suspect was being detained at Alberton police station on charges of possession and dealing in illicit substances.