Guyanese drug mule jailed in US for 16 months

– had excreted 44 cocaine pellets
The Guyanese man, who was charged after he excreted 44 pellets of cocaine in New York late last year, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison and three years supervised release by Judge Leo Glasser in a Brooklyn, New York Court.

Marvin Martins was held on September 13, 2009 after he arrived at the JFK Airport on a Delta Airlines flight and he later pleaded guilty to trafficking in narcotics.

According to Special Agent with the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Xiao Ren in an affidavit that was seen by this newspaper, Martins arrived at JFK on September 13 and was pulled in for questioning by customs officers because of his nervous behaviour.
It was observed that Martins travelled on a ticket that was purchased with cash just four days earlier and when questioned about who purchased the ticket he told the officer that his brother purchased it for US$1,000. However, when asked for a number to verify his story Martins was unable to do so. He also told the officer that he lived with his grandparents in the US but they were unaware that he was returning home.

Special Agent Ren said it was then observed that Martins had made four trips in the last year and when this observation was made he admitted that he had ingested narcotics. He was taken to JFK’s Medical Facility and he passed out five pellets of cocaine. He later passed out more – a total of 44 pellets.

The amount of cocaine contained in the pellets mounted to 612.1 grammes and Martins was then charged and placed before a magistrate’s court.

Meanwhile, Dorothy Sears, the woman who was busted with 50 pounds of cocaine in a pink suitcase earlier this year, has pleaded guilty to trafficking in narcotics and will be sentenced on October 29.

On January 12, last Sears and the pink suitcase laden with cocaine slipped pass authorities at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. However, she was busted in New York.

Sears was also found with marijuana in her brassiere and it was during a customs examination of her carry-on luggage that she was reportedly observed acting “nervous, sweating profusely and avoiding eye contact.” She was asked if she had any checked luggage and responded in the positive.

The woman told US authorities that she was to be paid US$6,000 for checking in the suitcase by an individual in Guyana. She said she thought initially the suitcase had marijuana but when she received it, she believed it contained cocaine because of its weight and the amount of money she was to receive.

Four persons were subsequently charged with conspiring with Sears but two of them – Maurice Smith and Roderick Peterkin – have since had their charge discharged after a Full Court agreed that there was some bias on the part of the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack. A third defendant Shemika Tennant is also challenging the decision to charge her in the High Court.

Two other Guyanese women are awaiting sentence in New York after also been intercepted with cocaine late last year.

Latoya Corley, who was caught in September at the JFK airport with cocaine in a book, album, portfolio and a briefcase, will be sentenced on September 15 after pleading guilty.

According to information sworn to by ICE Special Agent Joseph Jerla, Corley arrived on Caribbean Airlines Flight 424 on a ticket purchased just days before her flight and on a newly-issued passport.

She was questioned and a book found on her person was discovered to contain cocaine between its pages.

Her briefcase was also checked along with the album and portfolio that was found in the briefcase and all three allegedly had cocaine.
Jerla said the cocaine amounted to 535.6 grammes.

The other woman, Shundell Ricketts was found guilty by a jury of trafficking in narcotics and she is awaiting sentencing.

Donald Frareir of ICE in his affidavit said Ricketts arrived in the country on September 8, 2009 at JFK on Delta Airlines flight 384 from Guyana.

She claimed two soft-sided roller ‘Gotcha’ suitcases that were plastic wrapped.
When officers at the airport checked her luggage it was found that the smaller suitcase had a false bottom that contained five kilogrammes of cocaine.

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