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November 30, 2012
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Canadian man sentenced for attempted drug smuggle

Christopher Thomas, STAR Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

A Canadian man who attempted to smuggle one and a quarter pounds of cocaine out of Jamaica was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $250,000 in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Frey Monoforian, a car repair shop owner in Canada, pleaded guilty to possession, dealing in and attempting to export cocaine.

Allegations are earlier this month, Monoforian was held with the drug at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay while attempting to board a flight to his homeland.

Monoforian's lawyer, Mark Trail, told Resident Magistrate Sandria Wong-Small that the defendant had acquired the cocaine for his own personal use, and that he had no previous convictions.

"I would ask for only a fine, as the cocaine was for his personal use. Since the death of his son six years ago, he had started using the substance," Trail said about Monoforian. "He has indicated that when he returns to Canada, he will seek help to sort out his problem. He wishes to apologise to the court and the people of Jamaica, and he has caused embarrassment to his family."

But RM Wong-Small shot down Trail's request.

"One and a quarter pounds of cocaine is a further stretch of the imagination than I am willing to go, so your request that he only be fined, you have asked and the answer is no," said the magistrate.

Monoforian was sentenced to a $100,000 fine or six months' imprisonment for possession and $150,000 or six months for the attempted export charge, and he was admonished and discharged for dealing in cocaine.

Additionally, he is to serve a mandatory six months behind bars. The terms of imprisonment will run consecutively if the fines are not paid.

"Sir, if you have a difficulty with the use of cocaine, the next time, wait until you get to Canada and then stock up," RM Wong-Small quipped to Monoforian as she handed down his sentence.

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