Heeralall Sukdeo, the Guyanese man who has been charged in the United States with attempting to smuggle over 250 kilogrammes of cocaine in a shrimp shipment, was yesterday convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court.
A New York Daily News report said Sukdeo, 60, who is the owner of Sukdeo Sons Fishing, claimed he was duped by a relative who is also in the fish business and was made the scapegoat after the authorities found the drugs.
“The defendant is a drug smuggler,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris was quoted as telling the jury, “and he was caught red handed.”
Sukdeo’s $500,000 bail was revoked after the verdict, the report said.
The cocaine, valued at over $8 million, was shipped from Georgetown, Guyana, and arrived at the Red Hook pier in June, 2015.
Sukdeo’s company, which imports fish from Guyana, also has a branch here.
According to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court, agents secretly removed the cocaine-filled shipment and tailed the container after it cleared customs. 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.
Sukdeo, of Lusignan, had initially said he was innocent of any wrongdoing. “Sukdeo stated that he was present only in the vicinity of the truck containing the target shipment because he was curious about its contents,” US Homeland Security Special Agent Ryan Varrone stated in the complaint.
Following Sukdeo’s arrest, the shipper of the shrimp, Imrain Khan, turned himself over to local authorities but was later released.