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Flight attendant gets 12 months for cocaine

Published:Thursday | April 5, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

A male flight attendant was yesterday put behind bars for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.

The court was told that on December 12 last year, Michael Buchanan, 40, who was employed to Caribbean Airlines, was on duty and was about to leave the Sangster International Airport for a flight to New York.

The police, acting on information, asked to search his travel bag. Cocaine was found inside the bag. Buchanan admitted to the police that he also had packets of cocaine strapped to his body. He was arrested and charged.

Pleaded guilty

When he first appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on December 22 last year, he pleaded guilty to possession of 12.8 pounds of cocaine, dealing in cocaine and taking steps to export cocaine.

Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie made an impassioned plea for leniency. He also stressed that Buchanan, who is married and the father of two children, was suffering from a serious medical condition. Several character witnesses were called.

Resident Magistrate Viviene Hall Harris imposed a 12-month suspended sentence. He was fined $100,000 or six months' imprisonment for taking steps to export cocaine and was admonished and discharged for dealing in cocaine.

Harris also imposed the mandatory prison term of 12 months' imprisonment for possession of cocaine.