Man jailed after being forensically linked to car containing drugs

Taulant Mica was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for 12 months

Taulant Mica was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for 12 months - Credit: Suffolk police

A man who crashed his car containing around £20,000 worth of drugs following a police chase has been jailed for 12 months. 

Taulant Mica, 33, was behind the wheel of a blue Mercedes on the A14 eastbound at Rougham on July 18, 2018, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Police tried to pull the car over and the vehicle did initially stop for officers but then made off, Daniel Setter, prosecuting, told the court. 

The Mercedes then crashed and the two occupants of the car, Mica and Bardhyl Hallaci, made off on foot, Mr Setter said. 

The vehicle was searched and more than 5.5kg of cannabis was discovered, worth in the region of £16,500 to £20,200. 

A drinks can discovered in the driver's side door pocket had Mica's fingerprints on it, as did the bags of cannabis found, the court heard. 

Mica was arrested in Birmingham on August 23 this year. 

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When interviewed by police, he told officers he had no knowledge of the drugs in the car and pleaded not guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis. 

He also denied two charges of possessing an offensive weapon after two baseball bats were found in the car. 

At Mica's trial in the magistrates' court on September 29 this year, he was convicted of being concerned in the supply of cannabis but was cleared over the weapons charges. 

The case was then committed to the crown court for sentence. 

Mica, of Stonebrook Way, Birmingham, had no previous convictions, the court heard. 

Mr Setter said Mica does not have entitlement to stay in the UK and the case is currently subject of an ongoing appeal. 

The court heard that Mica's co-defendant, Hallaci, was previously jailed for nine months in December 2019 at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty. 

On Wednesday, Judge Emma Peters said due to the fact Mica was convicted of the offence at trial, he would have no credit for a guilty plea as Hallaci did. 

Judge Peters jailed Mica for 12 months and he will serve half of his sentence in custody before being released on licence. 

The judge added that the sentence she passed means Mica is liable for deportation but said it would be for the immigration authorities to make that decision.