Woman admits to smuggling cannabis

A woman who admitted importing more than $70,000 of cannabis to Bermuda was warned yesterday that she could face prison.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Natasha York, 41, of Slip Point Lane, St George’s, returned with her two young daughters from Toronto in May last year with two packages of drugs hidden in her clothes.

Crown counsel Nicole Smith told Magistrates’ Court that a customs officer at LF Wade International Airport found hemp oil and hemp butter during a routine search of York’s suitcase, which aroused suspicion.

York, who has no previous convictions, told customs officers she had not brought any illegal substances to the island.

She added she had stayed with someone who smoked cannabis.

The court heard York tried to prevent an officer from patting her right side, where there was a hard lump at her waist, after she was taken to a search room.

She agreed to a more thorough search and put her hand inside her pants and produced two black packages. She told customs officers she did not know what they contained.

Ms Smith said: “She was arrested on suspicion of importing a controlled drug. The defendant replied ‘yes, it was a stupid thing to do’.”

Analysis of the two packages revealed they contained 1,430.7 grams of cannabis with an estimated street value of $71,525.

The prosecutor said the amount suggested the drugs were not for her personal use but for sale or distribution.

A police investigation found that York had got into financial difficulties before she committed the offence.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ordered a social inquiry report and adjourned sentence until May 28.

He released York on bail, but warned her the extension of bail was no indication that she would be spared jail.

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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