A drugs runner carrying around £30,000 worth of cannabis stashed in a suitcase in his car through Newtown has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Joshua Facciuto, 32, from Llanelli, was transporting the large amount of cannabis in a Jaguar XE from Manchester to south-west Wales to pay off a debt.

He was stopped by police on the Newtown Bypass on May 24, 2021, who later found a suitcase in the backseat which included around 2.5kg of cannabis and £2,300 bundle of cash in the driver’s door pocket.

Judge Rhys Rowlands told Facciuto that he played a “significant” role and knew the scale of the drugs operation which was “so serious” that it crossed the custody threshold before sentencing him to four months in prison which is suspended for 18 months.


The judge also slammed police for the “unacceptable” delay after Facciuto refused to give his phone’s pin number to officers investigating the case.

Asking why the police did not apply for a court order requiring Facciuto to reveal his pin number or face a prison sentence if he refused, Judge Rowlands said: “I do not understand why the police did not take that course and engage in futile attempts to access phones.

"There has been considerable delay which is unacceptable in a straightforward case. Your refusal rather dilutes the effect on sentencing.”

Defence barrister Steve Burnell told Mold Crown Court on Thursday, March 23, that Facciuto’s lifestyle had “clearly changed” during the past two years and he has not been in trouble with the police.

County Times:

“This was a one-off incident,” Mr Burnell said. “He had debts, there was misuse happening at the time and he found himself in an unfortunate position."

He added: “There’s been a total change in this young man’s life since. He is in a new relationship and there are children in his life."

Sentencing Facciuto, Judge Rowlands said: “It shows you were plainly very close to who was orchestrating the supply in south-west Wales or trusted with transporting cannabis and a very large amount of cash. Your role being a significant one.

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“You are plainly an intelligent man with qualifications. You knew the destination where the cannabis was going. You were trusted by another further up the pyramid and knowingly assisted them from Manchester to south Wales.

“The aggravating feature was that the cannabis was for onward distribution.

“I take the view it is so serious that it crossed the custody threshold. But I must consider prison overcrowding, and there is real prospect of rehabilitation.”

Facciuto, of Bryn, Llanelli, was ordered to complete 15 rehabilitation requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work within the next 18 months.