Drugs mule thought pellets were marijuana

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A self-confessed fentanyl mule has described to jurors how she was ordered to swallow dozens of drug pellets if she “ever wanted to go home again”.

Canadian national Jacqueline Robinson told the Supreme Court yesterday that she was told the drugs were marijuana before she swallowed them and travelled to Bermuda with her boyfriend, Craig Lawrence, in December 2016.

Taking the stand for the prosecution, Ms Robinson told the court that Mr Lawrence had invited her on an all-expenses-paid holiday shortly after they had started a relationship in Canada.

She said that Mr Lawrence had initially told her they would be bringing back $10,000 in cash from Bermuda to Toronto, but had assured it was legal.

The jury heard that the couple spent the night before they were due to fly to Bermuda with friends of Mr Lawrence in a hotel.

Ms Robinson said that the next morning, Mr Lawrence and another woman showed her a stash of drug pellets in the hotel bathroom and told her to swallow them.

“The pellets were about two inches long and looked like a pill,” she said. “They were white and covered in a plastic film. They were quite big and quite hard.

“Craig pulled one out. I asked him what it was. He told me I was to swallow it. I told him I did not want to swallow it.”

Asked by prosecutor Alan Richards what made her change her mind, Ms Robinson said: “When he said I will do as I was told if I ever wanted to go home again.

“I asked what was inside it. They said it was marijuana.”

Yesterday Ms Robinson described to the Supreme Court how it had taken between 1½ and two hours to swallow all the pellets in the hotel in Canada.

“At first I swallowed seven, but was sick and vomited them all back up,” she said. “I was given Gravol and swallowed the seven again, and then proceeded to swallow the rest.

“I fell asleep on the way to the airport; I felt sick and nauseous. During the flight I felt very nauseous and hot.

“Throughout the first night in Bermuda, I was up vomiting and excreting the pellets. My stomach was in a lot of pain.”

The court has heard that Ms Robinson and Mr Lawrence arrived in Bermuda on December 15, 2016 and ended up staying at the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Lawrence was part of the conspiracy to bring the drugs to Bermuda and supply them to others, while a third man, Maurice Martin, helped to find the couple a room at the hotel and collected the drug pellets from the hotel to supply to others.

Ms Robinson fell seriously ill on December 19 and had to be rushed to hospital, having regurgitated 44 of the 45 pellets of fentanyl she had swallowed.

Mr Richards has told the jury that one of the pellets that Ms Robinson had swallowed must have ruptured.

“My last memory is getting ready for dinner on December 19,” Ms Robinson said. “I did not leave the hotel because I woke up in hospital.

“I did not know what was going on. I was confused and scared. I could not hear anything, I could not move. I felt like that for a few weeks and am still dealing with the side-effects.”

Ms Robinson confirmed that she had previously admitted her involvement in the plot to smuggle drugs into Bermuda at Supreme Court and had been jailed for seven years.

Mr Lawrence denies conspiracy to import a controlled drug and also conspiracy to supply a controlled drug. Mr Martin denies conspiracy to supply a controlled drug. The case continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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