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Musician on cocaine rap to be sentenced March 27

Published:Saturday | February 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Kevin Tapper, one of six musicians arrested recently in a cocaine bust at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, pleaded guilty in court yesterday and is to return for sentencing on March 27.

When he appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court before presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines yesterday, Tapper pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export three and a quarter pounds of cocaine.

At the request of Tapper's lawyer, attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is requesting a social enquiry report to assist in the sentencing process, he was offered bail in the sum of $500,000.

The court was told that Tapper was arrested and taken into custody on December 20, 2014, after the police intercepted him with the cocaine at the Sangster International Airport.

In making the bail application for his client yesterday, Champagnie told Hart-Hines that Tapper had cooperated fully with the police in their investigations.

"He has come clean. From December 20, when Mr Tapper was confronted by the police at the airport, he gave the police additional information that allowed them to make further discoveries," said Champagnie.

"I am instructed that he has no previous convictions, and he has been in custody since December 20. I understand the social enquiry report would take some time to complete," Champagnie continued, adding that Tapper could reside with relatives in St Catherine.

$500,000 BAIL

"I will offer him bail in the sum of $500,000 with three sureties, and he is to report to the Greater Portmore Police Station. A stop order is to be put in place, and he is to surrender all travel documents," Hart-Hines replied before setting Tapper's sentencing date on March 27.

Meanwhile, Tapper's co-defendants - Kharell Wisdom, Simone Bacchas, and Claudette Miller-Robinson - all had their cases set for mention on February 17 as their lawyers were not present at court.

Miller-Robinson, who is on bail, is accused of attempting to smuggle one pound of cocaine out of Jamaica on December 18, 2014. Wisdom and Bacchas, who have so far not been pleaded in their respective cases have been remanded in custody.

Two other defendants - singers Garth Jobson and Ramone Rowe, who were arrested on December 18 in connection with, respectively, five pounds and two pounds of cocaine - had previously pleaded guilty. They are to be sentenced on February 25.