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September 1, 2010

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Drug dealer calls for leniency after pleading guilty

A MAN who was caught by local police with more than 900 grams of drugs went on trial yesterday.

Cao Huajun, an Anhui Province native, pleaded guilty but begged for leniency during the court hearing. According to Chinese law, anyone caught transporting more than 50 grams of drugs faces the death penalty.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court heard the case but didn't announce a verdict.

"I'm willing to bear the consequences," Cao said at the hearing attended by his family members, who were shedding tears.

Cao allegedly hid 914.13 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or "ice" in a car and was caught by police when transporting the drugs to a buyer in a community in the Pudong New Area on the morning of March 19.

Prosecutors said that the defendant worked as a drug-dealing middleman while Cao insisted he just did it out of friendship without receiving any reward.

Cao, 32, lost his job and became aloof from his family members after he was addicted to drugs in 2007, the court heard.

Prosecutors said Cao contacted Gu Hui, a local man who usually sold drugs to him, on December 2009, after coming to know that a Sichuan Province drug dealer was keen to exploit the local market. Gu decided to buy 940 grams of drugs and agreed to pay about 240,000 yuan for the "ice."

On the morning of March 18, the dealer gave the drug sample to Cao, who took it to Gu. Cao then took the down payment of 100,000 yuan to the dealer, who agreed to be paid off after sending out all the drugs.

Cao wrapped the drugs in a plastic bag and hid them in his car and drove to Gu about 10pm. He was caught in the car with the drugs by police about 12am on March 19.

The dealer and the buyer were tried in separate cases.

At his hearing, Cao insisted that he was transporting the drugs on Gu's request.

Cao said that Gu had asked him to look for a drug dealer last June. Since he owed Gu a favor, Cao decided to help him just for that one time.

Cao inquired everywhere and came to know about the Sichuan dealer through a friend.

He claimed he had also declined Gu's reward of 20,000 yuan for the deal.


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