Heroin carrying student from Canning Town was anti-drugs
A student who claimed he was staunchly anti-drugs was jailed for six months after he was caught with ‘crack’ and heroin.
Paul Lopo, 18, said he was just carrying the drugs for a friend when he was caught by plain-clothes police cyclists who noticed him acting suspiciously.
They had seen him do a wheelie on his bike as he emerged from an alleyway in Canning Town, then ride away quickly with a rucksack strapped to his chest, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
As they followed him down Freemasons Road at about 11.30pm on May 11, he began speeding up and took a sharp turn in front of a bus, forcing the driver to brake sharply.
Eventually an officer got off his bicycle and grabbed Lopo, who admitted he was carrying drugs.
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Police found bags containing 2.7g of crack cocaine, with a street value of �276, and 3.5g of heroin, worth �377, inside the rucksack, which he claimed to be delivering to a friend free of charge.
They later found �150 in cash at his house, which he said was for his train fares to Newham College, where he is studying for a Level Two NVQ in Personal Training.
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Lopo, of Oystercatcher Close, Canning Town, admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.
Passing sentence, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said he accepted Lopo’s claim he had been carrying the drugs for a friend.
He said: “In your own account there came a point when you knew you were carrying Class A drugs for someone else whilst riding your bicycle.
“You had the choice about what you were going to do, and you chose to become a drug courier.”
Anne Faul, defending, said Lopo was committed to a healthy lifestyle but had slipped up a month before the offence and tried cocaine.
She said: “He’s not a drug user. He wants to be a keep fit expert, he cycles everywhere and that was a blip.
“He is anti-drugs, he doesn’t take them, but he did that one time because of the stress he was going through.”