Three Venezuelan nationals appeared in Summary Court Thursday when they all pleaded guilty to importing cocaine.

The three were charged with being concerned in the importation of 1.814 kilos (3.99 pounds) of cocaine into the Cayman Islands between May 1 and June 3 this year.

The defendants were named as Lesme Romualdo Perez Ruiz, 51; Jose Leonardo Parra Ferrini, 32; and Yoandry Jose Morales Molina, 22.

The charge sheet listed their address as an apartment at a resort along Seven Mile Beach.

Magistrate Grace Donalds read the charge to them and, with the assistance of a Spanish language interpreter, they each replied “Guilty.”

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They were represented by attorney Crister Brady, who did not make any application on their behalf.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran asked for an adjournment, advising that the Crown would have more information later that would be relevant to sentencing.

The next date was set for Thursday, June 29, although it was agreed that sentencing might not go ahead at that time.

The men’s appearance in court follows a joint operation by police and customs officers on Friday, June 2. A press release issued by police afterwards indicated that cocaine and a quantity of cash were seized.

The release further stated that two other people, including a customs officer residing in Bodden Town, had been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the importation of cocaine. No mention of these individuals was made during Thursday’s proceedings.

Police confirmed that both those individuals remain on police bail.  The arrested customs officer has been suspended from duty.

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