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Three women remanded on cocaine charges

Published:Saturday | August 23, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Three St James women, who were arrested on separate charges of attempting to smuggle cocaine through the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, were remanded in police custody following their appearance in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Forty-year-old Erica Wilson, who is of a Cornwall Courts address, pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export one and three-quarter pounds of cocaine, while 42-year-old Michelle Pearson pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export two and three-quarter pounds of cocaine. Both women were remanded until September 15.

The third accused, 40-year-old Tricia Fray, is charged with possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export one and a half pounds of cocaine, although she was not pleaded on Thursday. She will be brought back to court on Tuesday, August 26.

STOPPED AND SEARCH

The allegations are that on August 15, Pearson was preparing to board an outgoing flight to Miami, Florida, at the Sangster International Airport, when a security officer saw a bulge in the accused woman's groin area and subjected her to a search. Wilson and Fray, who were also preparing to board outgoing flights, were likewise stopped and searched, although it was not outlined where they were going.

Following the search of the three women, a substance revealed to be cocaine, weighing a combined six pounds, was found. All three were subsequently arrested and charged.

On Thursday, Pearson's attorney Ernie Smith attempted to make a bail application on behalf of his client, but that effort was shot down by presiding magistrate Carolyn Tai.

"She (Pearson) has a blind grandmother, and I am told that she has a mother with a disability. Is it possible for her to deal with some of those matters and then return?" asked attorney Smith.

"I would not be minded (to grant bail)," RM Tai replied.

Meanwhile, Wilson's attorney, Martyn Thomas asked for a social enquiry report to be prepared so as to aid in determining his client's sentence, and Fray's attorney Adrian Dayes asked that his client's bail application be deferred to the next court date.