Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 22:09 by Denis Chabrol
A Guyanese man was allegedly caught by American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in a hotel room near the JFK International Airport in New York with several cocaine pellets that he had excreted.
The detainee, Jermaine Smartt, has been ordered detained because he may not attend his trial. A preliminary hearing has been set for April 24, 2017.
Court documents seen by Demerara Waves Online News quote DEA Special Agent, Alexander Sosin in a complaint
as saying that at about 2:30 PM on April 6, special agents went to JFK Inn located at 154-10 South Conduit Avenue, New York and went to Room 114.
Sosin said they knocked on the room door, Smartt opened and granted them permission to search. “Agents discovered a locked suitcase inside the Hotel Room. The defendant, Jermaine Smartt, consented to a search of the
suitcase and provided the agents with the key to unlock the suitcase. After opening the suitcase, the agents discovered 37 pellets, which subsequently field-tested positive for cocaine,” the DEA agent said in the complaint.
Smartt was taken to a nearby JFK Medical facility where he, according to the investigators, admitted that he believed that there were two additional pellets he had not yet passed.
In all, the cocaine weighed 311 grammes. Smartt said he was paid US$3,500 to transport the cocaine from Guyana on April 5, 2017. The DEA Agent said in his affidavit that Smartt had travelled from Guyana on April 5, 2017 and had swallowed the pellets found inside his suitcase prior to the trip.
The DEA agents said they recovered a strainer-like device in the hotel room’s bathroom.
Smartt was denied his pretrial liberty because, according to court documents, “there is a serious risk that the defendant will not appear” because he lacks substantial ties to the US and he is not an American citizen. Leave has, however, been granted to reopen and present a bail package in the futire
The defendant is being represented by court-appointed lawyer, Amanda David.
Judge Cheryl Pollak set April 24, 2017 for a preliminary hearing.