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US convicts two Guyanese for multi-million dollar marijuana haul

Two Guyanese nationals have been found guilty in the United States of for a US$14 million marijuana haul in the Caribbean Sea in September.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent In Charge (SAC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and A. Lee Bentley, III, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announces today that a federal jury found Yugool Persaud (61, Guyana) and Desmond Wilson (54, Guyana) guilty of two counts of violating the U.S. Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.  Persaud and Wilson were both indicted on September 5, 2013, and face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.  Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2014.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, a United States Coast Guard (USGC) law enforcement detachment team onboard the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship WAVE KNIGHT observed a suspicious fishing vessel, MISS TIFFANY, transiting a known drug trafficking corridor in the Caribbean Sea.  When the USGC called over the radio, MISS TIFFANY began evasive maneuvers, while jettisoning white bales overboard.  The USCG boarding teams recovered 1,265 kilograms of marijuana from the jettison fields and then boarded MISS TIFFANY. The USCG team detained Persaud and Wilson, and both men were subsequently turned over to special agents from the Panama Express Strike Force.      
 
This investigation was conducted by the DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  SAC Trouville commends the prosecution efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The Guyana-bound fishing vessel, with the consignment of marijuana from Jamaica, had been expected to return to that Caribbean island with cocaine, according to local investigators.

Sources said the Jamaica-registered MV Tiffany was officially expected to return to Jamaica with a shipment of coconut oil. At the same time, the cocaine would have been stashed in the vessel.