Manchester man fined $400k for smuggling cocaine

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A man who admitted to smuggling five pounds of cocaine to save his mother’s house from foreclosure was fined $400,000 when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.

Damian Newman was busted at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston on March 31, when police assigned to the narcotics division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were alerted by their canine counterpart.

Newman’s luggage was subsequently searched. It was revealed that five pounds 11 ounces of white powdery substance resembling cocaine was found. A test proved that the substance was cocaine.

Attorney, Able-Don Foote during a plea mitigation on the behalf of his client told Parish Judge Vaughn Smith that his client utilised the right reason to do the wrong thing.

Foote argued that Newman who was charged with importing cocaine, possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine and conspiracy that his client acted out of desperation.

The attorney while emphasising that his client learnt a serious lesson, lived a good life for 43 years.

Foote noting that his client has a medical condition suggested a non-custodial sentence.

Prior to sentencing, Smith pointed out to Foote that it is customary that a custodial sentence be imposed in order to send a strong message to the public that these offences are not tolerated.

However, the Manchester native was subsequently sentenced to $200,000 or nine months each on possession of cocaine and importing cocaine. The prosecution offered no further evidence on the conspiracy charge. He was admonished and discharged on dealing in cocaine.

Racquel Porter

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