Reformed drug user jailed for 2000 drug bust

Man jailed for six months and fined €650 after being found guilty of trafficking heroin in 2000.

A reformed drug user has been jailed for six months and fined €650 after he was found guilty of trafficking heroin 14 years ago.

Sandro Spiteri, 37, of Zejtun, was also convicted of being in possession of the drug, and of breaching bail conditions handed down in 1999.

Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras heard that after receiving an anonymous tip-off, police arrested the accused on suspicion of stealing stereos and of drug trafficking.

During questioning, the accused admitted to selling drugs to sustain his drug habit. Moreover, Spiteri – who had been abusing of drugs since 1996 – told police that he had been selling the drugs for two months preceding August 2000.

While not disputing the drug charges, the defence however insisted that Spiteri had already served time for drug trafficking after he was found guilty of the same charges in 2009.

However, the prosecution argued that in 2009 Spiteri was charged with trafficking drugs in November 2001, and that the charges in question relate to heroin trafficking in 2000.

While upholding the prosecution’s plea, the court, presided by Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, argued that the accused himself had told the police that he had only sold drugs “for two months,” and that consequently the charges were distinct from each other.

In its decree, the court also noted that the accused has since reformed and is now in gainful employment. Nevertheless, it sentenced the man to six months behind bars and fined him €650.

Superintendent Carmelo Bartolo prosecuted while Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras presided.