Chief Magistrate Priya Beharry on Monday denied bail to a 78-year-old Guyanese born, American man and a 38-year-old Guyanese woman who both appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates Court and were slapped with drug trafficking charges.
Both persons were busted at the Cheddi Jagan Airport on Saturday with cocaine hidden in large packets of achar in their suitcases. The elderly man, Winston Blades was the first to appear before the Magistrate and entered a not guilty plea. The Prosecutor told the court that the man who migrated from Guyana in the 1980’s would return home from time to time even though he was granted U.S citizenship.
During his most recent visit, he was befriended by a woman who according to the Prosecutor, who asked him to take the packets of the achar which contained the cocaine back to the U.S. The Prosecutor claimed that the man’s ticket back to the U.S was paid for by an associate of the woman. Twenty pounds of cocaine was discovered in the packets of achar, stashed in nutmegs and packed away in the man’s suitcase.
Blake’s attorney, Mark Waldron argued that it was clear that the elderly man was unaware of the contents of the package he was asked to take back to the U.S and he was used by the woman who befriended him. The Magistrate refused bail and transferred the matter to the Providence Magistrates’ Court for February 14.
Thirty-eight year old Sadeeka Odie was also refused bail by the Magistrate when she appeared on the drug trafficking charge. The Prosecutor told the court that the woman was aware of the contents of the packets of achar that was in her possession.
The court was told that the mother of five children, was promised US$10,000 to ferry the cocaine to the United States. She was allegedly paid a US$400 advance and her ticket was paid for by a man who she told investigators lives in Republic Park, East Bank Demerara. The same man reportedly provided her with the cocaine laced achar packets. She was busted at the airport with just over 18 pounds of the cocaine in the achar.
Her Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat told the court that the woman was unaware of the contents of the packages of achar and that she was cooperating with investigators. Bail was refused for the Thomas Street, Kitty woman and she will also make her next court appearance on Valentines Day.