A Venezuelan who pleaded with the court to send him back home was yesterday afternoon sentenced to four years in prison instead after being slapped with charges of forging a US visa and trafficking cocaine.

Julio Harreira, 36, a chef, appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

The first charge against him stated that on May 23 at Charlotte Street, Georgetown, he had in his possession 0.6 grams of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. It was further alleged that between May 1, 2019 and May 23, 2019 at Georgetown, he conspired with person(s) to forge a visa.

Harreira pleaded guilty to both charges.

The court heard police ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were conducting an operation when they searched Harreira and another individual and found that he had two forged US visas in his possession. The cocaine was found in his pants’ pocket.

He was then arrested and taken to CID where, with the aid of an interpreter, he admitted to the offences. Harreira, in addressing the court, stated, “I was drunk when I purchased the cocaine but I did not get a chance to use it that’s how the police found it. I am sorry, Guyana.”

He went on to say that he is sorry for what he did and asked the magistrate to give him a light sentence because he has no family in Guyana.

When the magistrate asked him why he came to Guyana the man stated, “ I came to Guyana to create visa and I was selling them here. Please send me back home because I’m allergic to sand and dust.”

The magistrate, after listening to both sides, sentenced Harreira to one year in prison for trafficking cocaine and three years in prison for the visa forgery. The sentences will run concurrently. Upon serving his sentences he will be deported.



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