'entrusted' | 

Personal trainer turned cocaine courier handed fine and points for speeding

Earlier courts heard claims that Chris Djorjani (39) “is part of a drugs organised crime gang

Chris Djorjani

Paul HigginsSunday World

A personal trainer turned £10,000 cocaine courier for the UDA had been handed a fine and points for speeding.

Appearing at Ballymena Magistrates Court, heavily tattooed Chris Djorjani admitted a charge of excess speed in that he was travelling at 39mph along the Cullybackey Road in County Antrim on September 24 2021 where the limit is 30mph.

A prosecuting lawyer said Djorjani was issued with a fixed penalty notice at the time but he failed to take up the offer.

His defence solicitor said he simply failed to send in the paperwork in time, adding that while he is on benefits at the moment, Djorjani is a qualified personal trainer so is trying to “get back into the working world”.

For the speeding offence, Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare imposed a £100 fine and three points.

What he didn’t hear however is that just over six weeks after Djorjani was caught speeding in his Mercedes, he was caught transporting £10,000 of cocaine for the South East Antrim UDA.

That offence arose on November 12 2021 on the Carnlough Road in Ballymena when cops pulled over a Skoda Octavia.

Djorjani, originally from Ballymena but now living on the Skeagh Road in Dromore, had been a passenger in the car but when cops went to start a search, he took to his heels and sprinted away but “dropped a package” which he immediately picked up and taking to his heels again, he ran through the yard of a nearby farm, jumping over a stone boundary wall into a field where he was eventually arrested.

Police Dog Jonno was brought to the scene and the spaniel uncovered the package containing 250 grams of 55 per cent pure cocaine, which had “clearly been pressed” into a block police is worth around £10,000.

While earlier courts heard claims that Djorjani “is part of a drugs organised crime gang and has links to the South East Antrim UDA,” when she was sentencing him at Antrim Crown Court last December, Judge Roseanne McCormick KC said it was clear he was transporting the drug and was close enough to the source that he was entrusted to deliver such a valuable package.

“It’s a class A drug and it wrecks havoc on the lives of all that it touches,” said the judge, adding that as Djorjani was an addict, he ought to have known the “misery” his package would have resulted in if it had made its intended destination.

With reports indicating that Djorjani had taken steps to turn his life around and to address his drug misuse, the judge revealed that a hair follicle test had confirmed his claims that he has been drug free for months and it was those significant mitigating factors which justified her taking the “wholly exceptional step” of not sending him straight to jail.

Ordering Djorjani to complete 100 hours of community service and three years on probation, Judge McCormick warned the 39-year-old that any breach or failure to comply “there will be no second chance”.

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