Smuggler caught with $117,000 of cocaine

A drug smuggler was caught red-handed with a large stash of cocaine only months after being released from prison for his involvement in an international heroin trafficking operation.

Bermudian Rudolph Travers Clarke was jailed for more than seven years in the United States in 2012 for his part in a $3.9 million heroin importation plot to bring drugs into Bermuda from the Caribbean.

Clarke was brought back to Bermuda to serve the last part of his sentence at Westgate and released from prison towards the end of 2015.

But within months of his release, the 47-year-old was detained by police in Hamilton after picking up a parcel from a courier company that contained 445 grams of cocaine with a street value of $117,000. Although he then fled the island, Clarke was eventually extradited back to Bermuda and this week he was convicted of conspiracy to import a controlled drug and possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply at Supreme Court by a jury.

He was remanded in custody and faces a lengthy prison term when he is sentenced today.

In January 2011, Clarke and a second Bermudian, Kyle John of Hamilton Parish, were detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

The men were travelling back to Bermuda from St Maarten in the Dutch Antilles, via an American Airways flight.

During a layover in New York, customs officers stopped John and searched his bags, and discovered a false bottom in his suitcase.

They found the heroin, which weighed 1.2 kilograms; when they opened it up, it was later found to have a street value of approximately $3,952,000 if sold in individual “decks” on the streets of Bermuda.

John told a Homeland Security official after his arrest that Clarke gave him the bag of drugs, and he agreed to carry it in return for a payment of $10,000 at the end of the trip.

Both Clarke and John later pleaded guilty to being involved in the heroin importation plot and Clarke was sentenced to 87 months in prison.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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