Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Men sentenced in multimillion-dollar cocaine case

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/ Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Owen Glaze and Andrew Brown, the men who were recently found guilty in relation to 66 kilograms of cocaine valued at J$264 million, were yesterday sentenced when they appeared in the St James Parish Court.

The two men were sentenced by presiding Parish Judge Natalie Hart-Hines after they were found guilty of possession of, dealing in and trafficking cocaine.

Glaze, who was represented by attorney Dionne Maylor throughout the trial, was sentenced to a mandatory term of three years' imprisonment. Brown, who was represented by lawyers Churchill Neita and Delano Harrison, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

The men were each instructed to pay a fine of J$500,000 or spend three months in prison for possession of cocaine. They were admonished and discharged on the charges of dealing in cocaine and trafficking cocaine.

During the sentencing hearing, Neita asked Judge Hart-Hines to grant bail to both men, ahead of the defence lawyers' plans to appeal the sentences before the Court of Appeal.

"The men have been coming to court for five years, and they have never absconded," Neita said in his application.

"Yes, it is commendable that they did not flee, but at this stage I am not prepared to give bail. I think only a term of imprisonment will be appropriate in this case," Hart-Hines replied.

Glaze and Brown were arrested on April 20, 2013 by officers from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency during an operation along the Montpelier main road in St James.

The defendants were travelling in a Guardsman armoured vehicle. During the police operation, which included, the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division, and the Jamaica Defence Force, the defendants' vehicle was stopped and searched and the cocaine was found inside. The men were subsequently arrested and charged.

The five-year-old case's progression to trial was stalled several times dating back to July 8, 2014 because of the absence of lawyers, witnesses and even the trial judge.