Wedding’s off: planner fined $2,000 for drugs

A wedding planner from the United States was fined a total of $2,000 yesterday after he admitted drugs charges.

Magistrates’ Court heard Yervad Zaratsian was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled drugs at the airport as he attempted to return to America.

Magistrate Tyrone Chin was told Zaratsian, 47, from California, arrived on the island on December 1 for a three-day wedding conference.

He was searched by US Customs officers as he attempted to leave Bermuda on December 6 and was found to have cannabis oil, the party drug ecstasy and electronic vaping cartridges in his luggage.

Zaratsian told officials the pills were prescription drugs and the liquid was a sedative, but tests showed they were banned drugs.

He later told police that he used the drugs to “escape” the pressures of work.

Arion Mapp, defence counsel for Zaratsian, said it was a small amount of drugs and had been brought to Bermuda by accident.

He added the amount of cannabis oil found was less than seven millilitres.

Mr Mapp added that the defendant had admitted the offences and had no previous convictions.

Nicole Smith, for the Crown, pointed out Zaratsian had admitted to police he used drugs to cope with stress.

Mr Chin fined Zaratsian $500 for importation of the cannabis oil, and $750 each on the ecstasy and vaping cartridges charges.

The defendant was ordered to pay the fines before he left Bermuda.

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

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