A Jamaican man who claimed a criminal gang forced him to smuggle a kilo of cocaine into the country was yesterday jailed for 18 months.
Junior Reid, 28, of Constant Springs, Kingston, will spend an additional six months in prison should he fail to pay a $10,000 fine before the conclusion of his sentence.
Reid said he was “guilty with an explanation” when he appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney on charges of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to import dangerous drugs and importation of dangerous drug.
According to the prosecutor, Inspector Timothy Bain, officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit and Bahamas Customs were on duty at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) when Reid arrived from Panama on September 9.
The DEU officers pulled Reid aside for a search in a private room because he was behaving in a suspicious manner.
During the search, the officers discovered that Reid was wearing compression tights under his jeans, which contained four clear plastic bags of cocaine, with a value of $20,000, Bain said
Reid, who was unrepresented, told the court that he broke the law under duress from a gang member. He alleged that a gang member contacted him and threatened to kill his mother and daughter if he didn’t cooperate with the plan.
McKinney asked Reid if he had informed police of the threat. Reid said, “That’s not how things worked.” He suggested that contacting police would have resulted in the death of his family.
Reid said that he had never been arrested in his life and begged the court for mercy.
Reid told the magistrate, “I’ve never been involved in crime, either petty or otherwise. This is my first encounter with jail cells and the like. I’d like to know if there is a way I could redeem myself.”
After he was sentenced, Reid asked the court for assistance in contacting his family so he could find out if they were safe.
Mckinney claimed that officials at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services would assist him.