US judge sentences Guyanese man found with cocaine pellets to time served

Jermaine Smartt

Less than a year after he was caught attempting to smuggle 39 pellets filled with cocaine that he had swallowed into the United States, Guyanese Jermaine Smartt is expected to be back on local soil soon as United States Judge Frederic Block has sentenced him to time served.

While United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue had recommended that Smartt be sentenced to 12 to 18 months in prison, in keeping with the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the judge opted for time served. He also ordered that Smartt be under supervised release, with special conditions that include that he shall not re-enter the United States illegally once deported and that he would cooperate with and abide by all instructions of immigrations authorities.

He also has to pay a US$100 special assessment, according to the court document seen by Stabroek News. The prosecution’s motion to dismiss any remaining counts was also granted.

Smartt, who had pleaded guilty last September, was also advised of his right to appeal and was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals Service.

It is not clear when Smartt will be deported.

This newspaper had earlier reported that Smartt was found at the JFK Inn, located in New York, on April 6th, 2017, with 37 of the pellets already excreted.

Documents had revealed that agents went to Smartt’s hotel room as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. With his consent, they searched the room as well as a locked suitcase, in which they discovered the 37 pellets, which subsequently field-tested positive for cocaine.

Smartt was then arrested and transported to the JFK medical facility to determine whether he had any foreign bodies in his intestinal tract. He subsequently admitted that he believed there were two additional pellets he had not yet passed.

He was also said to have admitted that he travelled to the United States from Guyana on April 5th, having swallowed the pellets discovered inside the suitcase. He said he had been paid US$3,500.

He was detained at the medical facility until he passed out the remaining pellets.

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