AN illegal immigrant caught supplying cocaine in the Stroud and Nailsworth areas last month has been jailed for 27 months and will be deported.

Emiljan Gjergji, 26, who is from Albania, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court last Friday, February 9 to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and driving while disqualified in Park Road, Nailsworth, on January 18.

Prosecutor Giles Nelson said police on patrol in Nailsworth spotted Gjergji's vehicle, a Honda Jazz, because there was an 'intelligence marker' on the vehicle.

They then saw him making a drugs transaction and moved in to arrest him.

He was found to have £849 in cash on him and it was established that on that day he was making 30 cocaine deliveries. He still had seven wraps of the drug with him at the time of his arrest.

"He did not provide his phone PIN to the police but it has since been cracked and it can be seen he was operating a drugs line and dealing in cocaine," said Mr Nelson.

"We say that in sentencing terms he was playing a Category 3 significant role in drug supply."

James McKenna, defending, said Gjergji, of Chaplin Road, Walthamstow, came to the UK two years ago and had been working in the construction industry in London before becoming recruited by a 'West London organised drugs gang.'

"He was a runner, nothing more than that," he said. "He was told where to go and what to do. He was given postcodes and told what to hand over and what to pick up.

"It is a situation that has become more and more prevalent.

"He is an illegal immigrant in this country and he will be automatically deported at the end of his sentence.

"His partner has just returned to Albania. She is pregnant and he is struggling to deal with the fact that she is going to be giving birth in Albania while he is stuck in prison here."

Judge Ian Lawrie KC sentenced Gjergji to 27 months in jail, ordered the forfeiture of the £849 cash and banned him from driving for 25 months. He also ordered him to pay a surcharge of £228.

"You will serve half the prison term and then be sent back to Albania," added the judge.