Guyanese Heeralall Sukdeo, who was held last week by US authorities after he went to uplift a shipment of shrimp in which cocaine valued US$12 million was discovered, on Tuesday appeared before Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy on the charge of knowingly and intentionally conspiring to import a substance containing cocaine.
According to court information seen by Stabroek News, Sukdeo was represented by Samuel Gregory in a Brooklyn Court Federal Court and was ordered detained after no bail package was presented. It is not clear when he would reappear in court.
The New York Daily News reported last week that a drug-sniffing dog alerted authorities to a shipping container that arrived at the Red Hook Terminal from Guyana, leading to the discovery of 268 kilos of cocaine packaged inside the container with frozen shrimp.
According to a complaint by U.S. Homeland Security special agent Ryan Varrone, agents secretly removed the cocaine-filled shrimp and tailed the container after it cleared customs on June 15th.
The container was delivered to an unidentified warehouse in Brooklyn, where agents spotted Sukdeo “together with others… organizing and supervising the unloading” of the shipment, the complaint states. Sukdeo, 59, the owner of Sukdeo Sons Fishing, a shipping company based in Queens, was arrested, but said he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
Locally, the shipper of the container, Imrain Khan, turned himself in last Friday and was questioned by police and ranks from the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) but has since been released.
Sukdeo has a local branch of his company located at Lot 1 Pump Road, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.