Man denies drug trafficking charges after stash found inside brother’s house

Police discovered 100 grams of cocaine and 30 grams of cannabis hidden inside an armrest at his brother’s home

A man from Floriana has denied drug trafficking charges after a stash of drugs was found at his brother’s house.

Mikhail Mansueto, 20, unemployed, from Floriana was remanded in custody on charges which include drug trafficking, after 100 grams of cocaine and 30 grams of cannabis grass were discovered at his brother’s home, hidden inside an armrest.

Mansueto was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Lara Lanfranco on Tuesday by police inspectors  Mark Anthony Mercieca and John Lee Howard.

The prosecution explained that Mansueto had been searched after he was observed acting suspiciously while celebrating Floriana’s recent win over rivals Valletta and that drugs were subsequently found hidden inside a bannister and a vase at his brother’s house during a search.

Officers became suspicious and arrested the defendant in view of a discussion he had with his brother in their presence, the court was told.

While giving his statement to the police, Mansueto had said he was unemployed and admitted to selling drugs to maintain his drug habit, the prosecution said.

Mansueto pleaded not guilty to charges of possession and trafficking of cocaine and cannabis. His lawyer, Franco Debono, requested bail.

The prosecution objected to his request, arguing that the defendant was already involved in drug trafficking at a young age and that the drugs were going to be distributed to third parties in order to be sold during the Floriana feast.

There was also a risk of evidence being lost due to the fact that the defendant’s brother was already on police bail.

The court refused the bail request and Mansueto was returned to preventive custody.