Musicians in cocaine bust get prison time
Two of the six musicians held in a cocaine bust at the Sangster International Airport late last year were sentenced to serve prison terms in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
The musicians, Garth Jobson and Ramone Rowe, who pleaded guilty to charges against them following their arrest last December, were sentenced to 14 months and nine months in prison, respectively.
Jobson, who is of an Albion address in St James, had pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export five pounds of cocaine; while Rowe, who is of a Rosemount address in the parish, had pleaded guilty to the same charges in relation to two pounds of cocaine.
Their sentencing had been delayed on several occasions due to court procedural issues, among other factors.
In addition to his mandatory 14-month prison sentence, Jobson was ordered to pay fines of $100,000 for the charge of possession of cocaine; and $200,000 for attempting to export cocaine. Failure to pay the fines will see him serving an additional six months in prison on each of the charges.
Meanwhile, in addition to his mandatory nine-month sentence, Rowe was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 for possession of cocaine; and $150,000 for attempting to export cocaine. Failure to pay the fines will also see Rowe serving an additional six months on each of the two charges.
Prior to being escorted from the court, both men were admonished by the judge for dealing in cocaine.
The facts in the case against Jobson and Rowe are that on December 18, 2014, they were preparing to depart the island for New Jersey on a flight from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. While they were being processed, they were taken aside and interviewed by security officials.
275 pellets excreted
The two were subsequently taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where Jobson excreted 181 pellets of cocaine, and Rowe excreted 94 pellets. They were arrested and charged.
Jobson and Rowe were among a group of six musicians who were arrested in the same incident on similar charges. The other four defendants are Kevin Tapper, Kharell Wisdom, Claudette Miller-Robinson and Simone Bacchas.
Miller-Robinson is charged in relation to one pound of cocaine, and Bacchas for one and a half pounds of cocaine; while Wisdom has not yet been pleaded.
Tapper, who pleaded guilty in relation to three and a quarter pounds of cocaine, will be sentenced tomorrow.