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July 28, 2014
Star News


British man sentenced for trying to smugggle ganja
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

A British man who attempted to smuggle more than 14 pounds of ganja out of the island, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court last Thursday.

Charged with possession of, dealing in, conspiracy to export and taking steps to export ganja is 19-year-old Filipe Smith. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Allegations are that on the day in question, Smith, attempted to board a flight back to his homeland, was accosted by authorities at the Norman Manley International Airport and was searched. Inside his luggage, officials reportedly saw a quantity of canned ackee products, as well as an assortment of bars of soap. Further inspection of the items revealed that they were tampered with and contained 14 pounds three ounces of ganja. Smith was subsequently arrested and charged.

Smith's attorney argued that his client was merely a young misguided victim who has suffered a traumatic childhood.

"He has to extend his stay though," Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey said.

Smith broke down crying as he waited to hear his fate uttering: "In the UK, I'm a victim of child exploitation. I've been abused all my life,"

"I'm a simple Jamaican girl, you come from the UK to have a good time and 14 pounds of ganja find you? How come when I'm in England nobody don't give me drugs to carry to Jamaica?" RM Pusey remarked, seemingly unmoved. "You come from England and a come from Jamaica and a carry back Irish Spring soap? People come here and think that it is love and joy with the hand cart boy!"

Smith was fined of $15,000 or six months for possession; $45,400 or six months for dealing; $113,500 or six months for taking steps to export ganja and sentenced to 18 months. A fingerprint order was also made.

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