(Barbados Today) A Guyanese man was sentenced to seven years in prison by Chief Magistrate Pamela Beckles yesterday.
The sentence was imposed after Ryon Marlon George pleaded guilty to seven drug charges in the Oistins Magistrates’ Court, involving 19. 6 kilograms of cocaine. The contraband, worth almost $1 million, was found on the MV Fairland cargo ship.
George lives at Lot 3 Manchester Village, Berbice.
The father of five admitted importing, intent to supply, possession and trafficking cocaine on January 22 this year at the Arawak cement plant. Similarly, he confessed to committing three of the four offences again two days later, at the Bridgetown Port.
Station Sergeant Rudolph Burnett outlined how the ship arrived in the Bridgetown Port on January 15, before making its way to the Arawak cement plant to collect a consignment of cement. The ship, on which George worked as an oiler, was Guyana-bound.
Acting on a tip-off, police carried out an operation at the Arawak cement plant on January 22. The ship had already berthed and was being loaded. After surveying the pier and the vessel, police boarded, searched and found a haversack with seven packages of cocaine hidden inside a garbage bin.
Police informed Customs officials of their findings and they in turn ordered the vessel’s captain to return to the Bridgetown Port, where it was again searched; this time jointly by police and Customs. Information led to George’s arrest and he was taken to Oistins Police Station.
While there, he admitted travelling from Guyana to Barbados with two bags on cocaine hidden on the ship, which he intended to hand over to unknown men here. He also told police he had put one of the bags on the pier in a bin and later directed the lawmen to a hole in the ship where he had another bag hidden. That one contained 10 packages of cocaine.
Attorney for George, Samuel Legay, told the Chief Magistrate that his client was remorseful, had five children, the youngest being one-year-old, and that he formerly worked with the Water Authority in Guyana.
The Guyanese national was remanded since January. Chief Magistrate Beckles, after consulting with the Director of Public Prosecutions, heard the case summarily.
George was given the seven-year sentence on trafficking in relation to the January 22 cocaine discovery. He was further sentenced to five years on all the other charges. The sentences will run concurrently.