“I did it for my children,” were the words of a mother who pleaded guilty to attempting to take 532 grams of cocaine to New York through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri.
The woman was today sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined $1.1M for the crime. Natasha Blair, 37, a cosmetologist, of 92 Grove/Diamond, East Bank Demerara, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
She pleaded guilty to the charge which alleged that on July 2, last, at CJIA, she had in her possession 532 grams of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Facts presented by Custom Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor, Konyo Sandiford, stated that on the day in question, Blair who was traveling with an 11 month-old baby, was an outgoing passenger on BW 726 at CJIA destined to JFK New York.
The court heard that when Blair checked in her luggage at the Caribbean Airline counter, a CANU rank acting on information approached her and informed her of his suspicion that she had ingested and inserted narcotics.
The officer then cautioned the woman and she denied the allegations. She was then escorted to a City Hospital where an x-ray was conducted. That examination revealed foreign objects in her stomach and pelvic area. The prosecutor added that the woman was admitted as a patient at the institution and between the periods July 2 and July 4, she excreted a total of 32 pellets suspected to contain cocaine.
The pellets had a combined weight of 322 grams. Those found in her pelvic area had a combined weight of 210 grams. The court heard that while at the hospital, the woman made several oral statements indicating that she needed the money to take care of her two children and herself.
Sandiford went on to tell the court that based on information received from the woman, further investigation into the matter is ongoing. The woman who was seen crying throughout the court proceeding told the court, “I’m very sorry for what I did and I’m sorry for putting my children and family through this.”
Attorney-at-Law Keoma Griffith in mitigation for his client asked the court to take into consideration that his client is a single mother who took a risk just to provide for her children. He added that his client fully cooperated with the police and she did not waste the court’s time.
The Chief Magistrate after listening to both sides told the court that she took into consideration, the woman’s early guilty plea and her lawyer’s arguments during mitigation. Hence, the mother of two was only sentenced to three years imprisonment and fine of $1.1M.