Man jailed for 4 years, slapped with $1.5M fine on his birthday

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A 51-year-old Guyanese man, who is celebrating his birthday today, was sentenced to four years jail and slapped with a $1.5M fine for trafficking over two kilograms of marijuana in his suitcase through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

Joel Cadogan, who is also a United States (US) citizen, appeared before Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Grove/Diamond Magistrate’s Court and pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge.

Cadogan admitted that on April 12, 2021, at CJIA, he had 2.036 kilograms of marijuana in his possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was represented by attorney-at-law, Dexter Smartt, while the State was represented by Prosecutor of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Konyo Sandiford.

The marijuana found by the authorities (Photo released by CANU)

On the day in question, Cadogan arrived in Guyana with three large suitcases and two handpieces; he cleared immigration and was subjected to a random search by a Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Custom official at the arrival lounge where four compressed plastic parcels of suspected cannabis wrapped in jeans were uncovered in his luggage.

The remainder of his luggage was searched, several pairs of sneakers were found to have been stuffed with numerous small empty Ziploc bags, and a tabletop scale.

Cadogan was detained and handed over to CANU officials at CJIA where he was arrested and escorted to CANU headquarters in Georgetown, where he was later charged.

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