Tue | Apr 25, 2017

Cocaine trafficking intended to further Mobay singer's career- attorney

Published:Thursday | May 7, 2015 | 5:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

Kharell Wisdom, one of the six entertainers who were arrested in a cocaine bust at Sangster International Airport last December, was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment when he appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Wisdom, who had previously pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and taking steps to export three pounds and three ounces of cocaine, was also ordered to pay fines amounting to $250,000, or else be imprisoned for three months.

Attorney-at-law Pearnell Charles Jr, who was part of Wisdom's defence team, gave a summary of the defendant's previous good character, while making his summation before presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines.

"This is a man who the social enquiry report does some justice to indicating the kind of man he is ... we see him as an individual who is not only a talented singer, but who has a purpose," Charles said of Wisdom. "This is a decision he will regret for the rest of his life, particularly because of who he is and what his purpose is."

Attorney-at-law Martyn Thomas, who also represented Wisdom, told the court that the defendant had chosen the route of drug trafficking out of a desire to expand his musical career.

"His involvement (in drug trafficking) was out of a desire to take his music to a higher level, but he could not do so because of the financial challenges that he faced ... . Mr Wisdom made a bad decision," said Thomas.

In sentencing Wisdom, Hart-Hines chastised him for choosing to traffic narcotics.

"I have considered the gravity of this case, and I am not convinced that this was a case of need, to further your career. Even if it was a case of need, this was not appropriate ... drugs kill, drugs poison lives, and drugs destroy families, and this is something you should not have done," said Hart-Hines.

Wisdom is the fourth of the six entertainers, who were all arrested on December 18, 2014, to receive a custodial sentence.

Garth Jobson, Ramone Rowe, and Kevin Tapper had previously been given prison time after submitting guilty pleas in relation to five pounds, two pounds, and three and a quarter pounds of cocaine, respectively.

Claudette Miller-Robinson and Simone Bacchas, the other two members of the group, who each pleaded guilty in relation to one a half pounds of cocaine, will be sentenced on May 14.