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Bermudan sentenced for 95 packs of ganja

Published:Saturday | May 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:A 19-year-old Bermudan army volunteer who was allegedly coerced to smuggle 95 packs of ganja out of Jamaica was given a $9,600 fine in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Jordan Chevaz of Pembrook, Bermuda, pleaded guilty to possession, dealing, and attempting to export one and a half pounds of ganja.

The facts are that on May 12, the investigating officer was on duty at the Sangster International Airport's domestic terminal checkpoint in Montego Bay when she noticed Chevaz acting suspiciously.

It is said that Chevaz walked over to a garbage receptacle into which he dropped a red bag.

He was then accosted by the officer, who retrieved the bag and found inside 95 packages of vegetable matter resembling ganja.

During interrogation, Chevaz claimed to have been threatened into carrying the contraband by a fellow army officer; however, when the other man was summoned before him, Chevaz admitted to lying.

In court on Monday, the Bermudan again declared that he had been forced to smuggle the ganja.

"Why did you say otherwise when the officer was called?" enquired Resident Magistrate Sandria Wong-Small.

"I was afraid of what he might do," Chevaz answered.

"Make no mistake, you've done something that, if you were going in the army, you'd have to have that fortitude in you to resist," the judge told him.

In the end, Wong-Small ordered Chevaz to pay $2,400, or 30 days, for possession, and $7,200 or 30 days, for attempting to export the drug. He was admonished and discharged on the dealing charge.

"If you don't have the fortitude to stand up for what you know is right, I don't think you're cut out for the army," Wong-Small declared as she handed down the sentence.