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Anthony Lowndes: Belfast man who threw away a suitcase filled with cannabis in front of plainclothes police jailed

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Following his arrest, Lowndes’ home was searched and a further small quantity of cannabis was found on the property, as well as deal bags and a grinder

Anthony James Mark Lowndes (Photo by Alan Lewis)

A 36-year-old man who threw away a black suitcase full of cannabis in front of plainclothes police officers was today jailed for drug offenses.

Anthony James Mark Lowndes appeared at Belfast Crown Court where he was given a 13-month sentence consisting of equal parts prison and license.

Lowndes, of Rathmore Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to three offenses committed on May 20, 2022, namely possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of cannabis and ketamine.

That day, plainclothes police officers contacted Lowndes and attempted to speak to him as he walked through an alley in east Belfast.

Lowndes dropped a black suitcase he was carrying and then fled the alley. However, he was quickly caught and imprisoned.

The suitcase was examined and was found to contain five large bags of cannabis, equivalent to five kilograms of the Class B drug.

Following his arrest, Lowndes’ home was searched and a further small quantity of cannabis was found on the property, as well as deal bags and a grinder.

Half a gram of ketamine was also seized during the search.

During a police interview, Lowndes admitted possessing the cannabis and ketamine found in his home, but refused to answer questions about the drugs found in the suitcase.

He then told a probation officer that at the time of the offenses he was a regular drug user, was in debt to dealers and had agreed to transport the suitcase containing the cannabis for £500.

Lowndes also admitted that he sold drugs.

Judge Mark Reel noted Lowndes had a history of criminal convictions for supplying drugs, which resulted in prison sentences.

This included a two-and-a-half year prison sentence in September 2013 for supplying cocaine.

Judge Reel also noted the defense claim that Lowndes “acted as a courier for commercial-scale quantities of drugs.”

Judge Reel addressed Lowndes as he stood in the dock and told him: “The custody threshold has been exceeded and only immediate detention is appropriate.”

Judge Reel not only imposed a 13-month prison sentence, but also ordered the destruction of all seized drugs.

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