THE Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 23-year-old man to one-year imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in over 23 grammes of cocaine.

David Phiri, 23, of Kaunda Square was charged with the offence of trafficking in narcotic substances.

It is alleged that on 2 December, 2021, Phiri trafficked in 23.87 grammes of cocaine without lawful authority.

When Phiri appeared before magistrate Trevor Kasanda, he admitted to having committed the crime and pleaded guilty to the charge.

“I admit the charge. I bought it [the cocaine],” the accused said.

Evidence is that on the material day, Drug Enforcement Commission officers conducted an operation in Kaunda Square stage two and when they came across a group of youths, they men fled and scampered in all directions at the sight of the DEC officers.

The officers managed to apprehend Phiri, who, upon searching, was found with suspected cocaine.

After being apprehended, the suspected drugs found on Phiri were seized and taken to the University Teaching Hospitals where a public analyst confirmed that the consignment was cocaine weighing 23.87 grammes.

In mitigation, Phiri asked for forgiveness on grounds that he had learnt his lesson from the time he had been detained.

“I apologize to the court. I didn’t know what I was doing,” said Phiri.

Magistrate Kasanda said while Phiri was a first offender deserving leniency, the offence he was facing had a minimum mandatory sentence of 12 months.