Bryce Merren sentenced to 9 years

A well-known Caymanian businessman was sentenced to 108 months [nine years] imprisonment following U.S. federal court proceedings in Puerto Rico late Thursday.

The details of Bryce Merren’s sentencing guidelines had not been released by early Friday, but Merren’s brother, Randy, confirmed the sentence handed down in a statement Thursday night.

Bryce Merren pleaded guilty in December 2014 to one count in an indictment alleging he conspired with other individuals to possess cocaine. It was one of the three charges initially filed against him. The other two, alleging money laundering and drugs possession were dropped as part of the plea deal with federal prosecutors.

It has not been made clear in U.S. court records who is alleged to have conspired with Merren, but prosecutors’ statements have indicated that the investigation did not end with his arrest and guilty plea.

Merren was arrested in March 2014 on allegations that he was attempting to set up a money laundering operation to cover for planned cocaine shipments. Records from the U.S. District Court indicate that Merren revealed that at least one other man – an employee at his Cayman Islands trucking business – was involved in negotiations for cocaine shipments with two undercover federal agents. However, that man has not been charged, as far as the Cayman Compass is aware.

“This is a difficult time for our family, particularly for our mother and Bryce’s daughter,” Randy Merren’s statement read.

“In his statement to the court, Bryce expressed remorse to his family, his friends and his country for his actions and took responsibility for the choices that led to this outcome.”

Other statements of support for Bryce Merren were filed with the Puerto Rican court on Thursday.

In other court documents filed, Merren’s attorneys requested that he be allowed to serve out his prison sentence in the Cayman Islands. The federal judge hearing the case instructed them to request a prison transfer through the normal legal and diplomatic channels.

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