American gets 18 months for cocaine

by

January 11, 2016

WESTERN BUREAU:

An American caught trying to smuggle more than two pounds of cocaine out of Jamaica in December was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Joseph Adorno, 40, from Massachusetts, US, was charged with possession of and

attempting to export two and three-quarter pounds of cocaine. He was also ordered to pay fines amounting to $650,000.

The court was told that Adorno, who had entered his guilty plea when he last appeared in court on December 23, 2015, had been checking in to board an outgoing flight at the Sangster International Airport, when he was pulled out of the line by officers and interviewed. Subsequent checks led to the discovery of the drug, valued at approximately J$3 million, and Adorno being arrested and charged.

It was not revealed when the incident took place.

In arguing for his client, attorney-at-law Dalton Reid, told presiding magistrate Sandria Wong-Small that the defendant made the drug-smuggling attempt out of a financial need.

"His was a monetary situation ... at one point he was working two jobs, up to 80 hours per week, and he has a whole list of ailments and has been in and out of hospital for diabetes," Reid said. "That is why he came to Jamaica, with a hope that if he completed this mission, he could beat back his financial crisis."

In handing down the sentence, RM Wong-Small chastised Adorno.

"While I understand the situation in which you found yourself, which would have motivated you to take this risk ... two and three-quarter pounds is a lot of cocaine for one person to be carrying. You would not have seen anywhere near the full monetary value of it," said RM Wong-Small.

Adorno was fined $300,000 or six months for possession and $350,000 or six months for attempting to export cocaine.

- C.T.

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