J'can gets 18-year sentence in Bermuda after drama-filled heroin case
A Jamaican national, 38-year-old Omar Davy, was on Wednesday jailed for 18 years in Bermuda after he was convicted in that country’s Supreme Court for possession of heroin worth US$750,000 (J$97.5 million).
Bermuda is known to be tough on drug traffickers and a number of Jamaicans are currently serving lengthy prison sentences there for drug offences.
Davy, who hails from the parish of Manchester, reportedly fled from customs officers at Bermuda's international airport after they found the drug in his luggage. He was, however, quickly apprehended after a security officer on a motorcycle intercepted a truck that Davy had flagged down and boarded in his bid to escape.
The Jamaican told the court that he was forced to bring two packages to the island from Canada after threats were made against himself and his family.
However, on Monday an 11-member jury unanimously found the accused guilty of drug importation, possession of heroin with intent to supply, and the obstruction of a customs officer.
The jury took a mere 30 minutes to arrive at its verdict.
Delivering the sentence on Wednesday, Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves noted that the jury delivered the verdict in “record time”.
He added that a strong message should be sent to dissuade others from seeking to profit from bringing drugs into the island.
Prosecutors alleged that Davy smuggled 220.88 grams of heroin worth up to US$765,700 to the island on July 10 last year.
The court heard that Davy, who said he worked from home as an architectural draughtsman, arrived at the LF Wade International Airport on a flight from Toronto and was selected for a secondary search.
As his bags were being searched, a drug-sniffing dog indicated that he had an illegal substance on him.
A subsequent search of his bags revealed nothing illicit, but when the customs officer went to see her superior, Davy was seen on closed-circuit television taking an object from the back of his trousers and stashing it in one of the already searched bags.
Questioned by the customs officer thereafter, Davy said he had a traffic ticket to deal with in Bermuda, and he planned to stay with his girlfriend while on the island.
Davy later ran out of the airport and led customs officers on a foot chase after realising that he was in trouble. He was able to flag down a truck, but a security guard on a motorcycle subsequently stopped the truck and the Jamaica was arrested.
Davy told the court that the day before his flight, he was abducted by a group of men at gunpoint over money he owed to a Jamaican don.
He said the men beat him until he could barely stand, and choked him into unconsciousness.
He said he eventually agreed to bring a package to Bermuda with him after the men threatened to kill him and his family members in Jamaica.
The accused said he had no idea what was in the package, and claimed that he ran out of the airport because he panicked.
But a prosecutor said Davy's story was a “movie script” that was made up in the hope of escaping a conviction.
He said a police officer who was present during a strip search of Davy hours after his arrest, saw no bruises, cuts or swelling on the Jamaican’s body.