Bail granted in cocaine import case

Shelin Pomare Pedroza, 25, was granted bail after appearing in Summary Court on Thursday charged with importing one pound of cocaine into Cayman via the Owen Roberts International Airport.

Defense attorney John Furniss said Pedroza will be going to trial, but it was not yet known whether it would be in Summary Court or Grand Court.

The offense was discovered at the airport on April 17.

Mr. Furniss explained that a person in Colombia asked her to carry a bag to that person’s mother, who resides in Cayman. The families know each other. Pedroza looked in the bag and saw bread and items of clothing. Everything appeared quite normal and she put the bag through the X-ray in San Andres, Colombia, before boarding the flight, he said.

In Cayman, while waiting in line to go through Immigration, she saw another person from that family and asked if he would take the bag to give to his mother. He told her to wait until they got outside, so she held onto it.

When the bag was inspected, it was found to contain speakers under the clothing; the cocaine was inside the speakers, the court heard.

Mr. Furniss said Perdroza is a Colombian national who recently qualified as a lab technician. She was regarded as a proper and honest individual. Her situation did not fit the normal set of circumstances one sees in these cases, he submitted.

The defendant’s mother works in Cayman, and the woman’s Caymanian employer had faith in Pedroza, so she was willing to put up a surety to the extent of $5,000. Pedroza would be able to reside with her mother and abide by bail conditions, Mr. Furniss indicated.

Magistrate Grace Donalds asked Crown counsel Candia James what conditions she would ask for if bail were granted. Ms. James suggested surrender of travel documents, staying away from ports and the airport, and being fitted with an electronic monitor.

The magistrate granted bail with these conditions, adding a requirement for Pedroza to reside with her mother and observe a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. A recognizance bond and surety were set in the sum of $5,000.

Later, the court was advised that no electronic monitor was available. Ms. James agreed to a condition that Pedroza report daily to the courts office until a monitor becomes available.

The matter was set for mention again on April 30.

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