A Cayman Airways employee pleaded guilty Friday to an illegal drugs exportation charge in U.S. federal court, according to records published Tuesday by the Miami-area district court.
Corey James Miller faces a maximum of five years in prison after court records stated he admitted to federal investigators that he and another man, Kelven Claret, agreed to smuggle ganja from Miami to Grand Cayman “on multiple occasions” between January and late April.
Mr. Miller and Mr. Claret were arrested at Miami International Airport on the jetway of a Cayman Airways flight on April 29, after security personnel searched their suitcases and found 2.94 kilograms (about 6.5 pounds) of ganja stuffed inside boxes of laundry detergent in 12 packages.
Federal investigators said Mr. Miller initially told them he did not know Mr. Claret, but the probe later revealed that Mr. Miller’s girlfriend bought airline tickets for both men to travel on April 29.
“Upon review of Claret’s phone, law enforcement discovered numerous messages with Miller discussing smuggling of marijuana into the Cayman Islands airport,” court records stated. “Specifically, recorded audio messages from Miller, which captured Miller’s voice, corroborated that Miller and Claret agreed to work together to smuggle marijuana into the Cayman Islands on multiple occasions between … January 2018 and April 29, 2018.”
Mr. Miller’s sentencing was set for June 29. The court acknowledged he would likely receive a reduced sentence.
Mr. Claret’s matter is still before the court. He told U.S. investigators that he was recruited by Mr. Miller and paid $2,000 for his assistance in the drugs transshipment attempt.
Last week, Her Majesty’s Customs service in the Cayman Islands announced the arrest of another Cayman Airways employee and two customs officers in connection with a drugs conspiracy case. A male Cayman Airways employee and a female customs officer were arrested Monday, May 14, and the second customs officer, a male, was arrested Thursday, May 17.
Assistant Customs Collector Jeff Jackson said Friday that the customs employee arrested Thursday was arrested at Owen Roberts International Airport.
Both Mr. Jackson and Customs Collector Charles Clifford declined to state whether the arrests in Miami and the latter arrests on Grand Cayman were related to the same drugs import conspiracy.
“Investigations are still ongoing in relation to the three arrests here, as well as investigations to the April 29 arrests in Miami by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol authorities,” Mr. Jackson said.