A St. Lucian man was on Thursday morning sentenced to three years imprisonment in Guyana and fined G$1.2 million after pleading guilty, with explanation, to a trafficking narcotics charge.
26-year-old St. Lucian national, Kendell Joseph, told City Magistrate Fabayo Azore that he was forced by a Guyanese citizen to ingest 45 cocaine pellets.
The man’s explanation saw him securing the minimum sentence of three years.
According to the prosecution’s facts, Joseph, who is a first time visitor to Guyana, was an outgoing passenger at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Saturday November 21, bound for the United Kingdom.
He was stopped and questioned by ranks of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit after he was observed acting in a suspicion manner. He was later taken to a city hospital where an x – ray revealed the pellets in his stomach.
After excreting the pellets, field tests were performed and the tests proved that pellets were full of cocaine.
The illicit substance amounted to 480 grams with a street value of G$1.296 million.
Joseph told the court that he travelled to Guyana after being offered a job here by another St. Lucian. He claims to be a sales personnel.
While he told the Court in his brief explanation that he was forced by a Guyanese to ingest the drugs, he failed to reveal the identity of the individual in Court and neither was he asked by the prosecution or the Magistrate.
Magistrate Azore told Joseph it was very unfortunate that he was “forced” but his explanation would not change his guilty plea or her sentencing.
Only last week, two St. Lucian women were charged after they were intercepted with cocaine inserted in their vaginas at the CJIA. The two did not claim forced entry and have since been sentenced.