A Vincentian seaman, who said he imported drugs into Barbados in order to save his family, was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday after he was unable to pay $135,000 in fines.
Kamaol Wendell Muckett, of Union Vale, Port Elizabeth, Bequia, pleaded guilty to importation, possession, possession with intent to supply and trafficking of 0.97 kilogrammes of cocaine worth $48, 500 and 1.3 kilogrammes of cannabis worth $5,400.
Muckett was a crew member onboard the Melinda 2 which berthed in Bridgetown after arriving from Vieux Fort, St Lucia, on March 22.
As a result of a tip-off, officers, in a joint operation, boarded and searched the vessel.
Two plastic bags were found – one containing a whitish substance and the other vegetable matter. Muckett owned up to his crime when crewmembers were asked about the illegal substances.
“I got into an incident back home and some people threatened my mother. If I didn’t bring this [the drugs], my family would have been in blood, so I had to do what I had to do,” Muckett told Cuffy-Sargeant in the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
He was slapped with a $15, 000 forthwith fine, which carried an alternative eight-month prison sentence, for importing cannabis.
Muckett was also ordered to pay $120,000 or spend three years in jail for importing the cocaine into the country.
The sentences will run concurrently.
He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the other charges.
Original Publication Barbados Today