Tue | Jun 19, 2018

Jamaican man pleads guilty in Bermuda court to cocaine smuggling

Published:Thursday | January 25, 2018 | 5:26 PM

A 22-year-old Jamaican man has been sent to prison for six years in Bermuda by a Supreme Court judge after he admitted to smuggling US$200,000 worth of cocaine into the country.

Dwayne George Watson, who is from Mavis Bank in St Andrew, was caught at the L.F. Wade International Airport after flying to Bermuda from Jamaica via New York.

Yesterday, the court heard that Watson was stopped for a random search after he passed through customs and collected a single suitcase on September one last year.

It’s reported that customs officers noticed that he was nervous while he answered questions and that the zipper of the suitcase had been shut with zip-ties.

Customs officers then drilled into the handle of the suitcase and found white powder inside.

A further search revealed 11 packages of cocaine and cocaine freebase, also known as crack, hidden in the case’s base, handle and corners.

More than a kilogram of cocaine was found, which prosecutors said had an estimated street value of up to US$200,634.

Watson told police he had agreed to bring ganja into Bermuda after he struggled to find a job in Jamaica.

He said he expected to receive US$3,000 and planned to use the cash to buy a taxi.

Watson said he was given the suitcase in Jamaica and was shocked to discover later that it contained cocaine.

In asking for a sentence of 10 years and six months, Crown prosecutor Takiyah Burgess told the court that Watson knew he was importing drugs, even if he believed the drug was ganja.

But, Burgess said the Jamaican deserved credit for an early guilty plea and had a clean record.