German national sentenced for cocaine smuggling
WESTERN BUREAU:A German woman, who attempted to export cocaine hidden in a handbag and a pair of shoes, was sentenced to one year imprisonment when she appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Katerina Schofield, from Frankfurt, Germany, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export two and a half pounds of cocaine. In addition to her mandatory prison sentence, she was also ordered to pay fines amounting to $550,000. The facts are that on December 31, 2014, at approximately 4:45 p.m., Schofield was preparing to board a flight to Frankfurt from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, when her luggage was subjected to a routine search.
During the search, a handbag and a pair of shoes were taken from one of the bags. The shoes were cut open and two packages with a white powdery substance were found inside the soles, while a powdery substance was found inside the handbag after it was pierced open.
Schofield was subsequently arrested and charged. In sentencing Schofield on Monday, presiding magistrate Carolyn Tie noted that, while the defendant had given an early plea of guilty, the crime for which she was convicted was still a serious one.
"The court cannot ignore the serious nature of the offence, and the drug itself is of a destructive nature. There has always been a clear link between drugs and crime in Jamaica," said Tie.
For possession of cocaine, Schofield was ordered to pay $250,000 or spend six months in prison; and for attempting to export cocaine, she was ordered to pay $300,000 or spend six months in prison.
She was admonished and discharged on the charge of dealing in cocaine. In addition, if the fines are not paid, Schofield's custodial sentences will run consecutively.