Manchester cocaine smuggler fined $400,000
Manchester chef Damian Newman has been fined a total of $400,000 after pleading guilty to smuggling a quantity of cocaine into the island.
The 43-year-old was fined $200,000 or nine months for possession of cocaine and $200,000 or nine months for importing cocaine.
He was admonished and discharged on the charge of dealing in cocaine.
The prosecution offered no evidence on the charge of conspiracy.
Newman was arrested on March 31 at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston after sniffer dogs raised an alarm at his luggage.
The police say the bags were searched and five pounds, 11 ounces of white powdery substance, which later tested positive as cocaine, was recovered.
Newman was subsequently charged.
In the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday, his lawyer, Able-Don Foote, argued that the chef acted out of desperation when he committed the unlawful act.
He told the court that his mother's house was on the brink of foreclosure.
Foote also pleaded for mercy, noting that Newman was in poor health and that the circumstance does not warrant imprisonment.
Senior parish judge Vaughn Smith, however, indicated that it is customary that a custodial sentence be imposed in order for the court to send a strong message that these offences are not tolerated.
Nevertheless, he agreed that this case is distinguishable from others.
Newman was then fined.