Cocaine courier gets 12 years

Almost a pound of cocaine was contained in 58 pellets swallowed by a Jamaican national who then imported the illegal drug into Cayman.

Adrian Fitzroy Morgan, from Clarendon, pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week to 12 years imprisonment.

Morgan was observed by officers of the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team when he arrived at the airport with other passengers from Jamaica. When questioned, he appeared nervous.

Spoken to further, he consented to provide a specimen of urine for testing and he agreed to be X-rayed. Later, he admitted swallowing the pellets, but said he did not know who they were for.

The total weight of the pellets was 438 grams or 15.47 ounces.

Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale asked if Morgan had provided any assistance to officers.

Defence Attorney John Furniss explained that Jamaican drug dealers have added a new twist to their distribution scheme: the courier does not know whom he is to meet when he arrives in Cayman.

Instead, the contact is to identify the courier by his clothing and hat.

Mr. Furniss told the court the defendant had assisted to the extent he could, by pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.

The attorney said Morgan, 31, became involved because he has four children he was bringing up himself with his mother’s help. Now the children’s grandmother was left with the sole responsibility for them.

Mr. Furniss submitted that 12 years should be the starting point for this amount of cocaine and Morgan was still entitled to a one-third discount because he had not wasted the court’s time and resources.

The magistrate, however, used 15 years as the starting point, with a three-year discount for the guilty plea.

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