Alleged cocaine supplier on new trafficking charge

Three weeks after being remanded on a drug trafficking charge, Andre Gustav yesterday faced a new accusation that he supplied cocaine to a Canadian drug mule who was later nabbed.

Gustav, 24, of Freddie Street, Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara was charged at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court with harbouring and supplying Canadian drug mule Johal Magnet with 2.615 kilos of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking on June 4.

Gustav denied the charge during his arraignment before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The prosecution’s case is that on June 4, Magnet was intercepted at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri (CJIA) with the drugs and subsequent investigations revealed that Gustav had given him the illegal substance, leading to arrest and charge.

Gustav, who was unrepresented by counsel, declined when asked if he wanted to say anything.

When asked by the court if he had legal representation, however, he responded in the negative, explaining that he has been in prison for the past three weeks after being remanded to prison on a similar charge.

As a result, he said that he was unable to retain a lawyer as he was informed only yesterday morning that he was required to be at court to answer to the charge.

The prosecution informed the court that it will be calling 10 of the 14 witnesses which it has in the matter and it will be ready to commence trial on the next court date, scheduled for August 15.

On June 7, Magnet was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine after pleading guilty to narcotics trafficking.

The charge against the 41-year-old Canadian national was that at the CJIA, he had in his possession 2.615 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The cocaine was found concealed in false walls at the bottom of the man’s suitcase when a secondary search was conducted on the luggage by narcotic-ranks after it had passed through the baggage scanner.

At his arraignment, Magnet said that he was promised Canadian $10,000 if he travelled to Guyana and exported the drug back to Canada. He apologised for the offence committed and begged for lenience, saying that he has “dependents” back home in Canada, including six children and a sick mother.

Meanwhile, Gustav had been remanded three weeks prior after being charged alongside American drug mule Brianna Rodney, who on July 5 was sentenced to four years in jail together with a $30,000 fine after she confessed to having over 4.130 kilos of cocaine.

Gustav was arrested on July 3 along with Rodney.  He is alleged to have been her co-conspirator.

He was also charged on July 5 with the same offence as Rodney which states that he was allegedly found with 4.130 kg of cocaine.

The young man denied the charge levelled against him. He was refused bail and remanded to prison. Trial proceedings in that matter have since commenced.

The illegal substance was found concealed in a false bottom of the woman’s suitcase. She was at the time an outgoing passenger at the CJIA destined for the United States.

Rodney, 25, an American citizen by birth, of Lot 2121 Westbury Court, Brooklyn 11225 USA, told the court at her arraignment that she was fully aware of what she had done. She said that she had seen an opportunity and had taken it, saying that she has a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, a sister and two brothers in college. She said that she and her mother were the sole providers of her household. Rodney also begged for mercy and said that she was sorry for her actions.

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