Bermudian to stand trial in NYC for heroin plot
A Bermudian man facing charges over an alleged $3.9 million heroin importation plot is due to stand trial in November in New York.
Rudolph Clarke, 41, of Sandys, was detained at John F Kennedy Airport in January along with fellow Bermudian Kyle John, 52, of Hamilton Parish. According to court documents, 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 1343 grams, when they opened it up. That amount of the drug has a street value of approximately $3,952,000 if sold in individual “decks” on the streets of Bermuda.
According to a sworn statement by Special Agent Ryan Varrone of US Homeland Security: “Defendant John admitted that he was carrying illegal drugs in the bag but that he did not know the specific type of drugs or the exact amount.
“Defendant John stated that the bag was supplied to him by defendant Clarke. John stated that he agreed to carry the bag for Clarke and that Clarke was going to pay him $10,000 after the trip was completed.”
The men were charged at the United States Eastern District Court of New York. Mr Clarke is accused of conspiring to import heroin, importing heroin, conspiring to import heroin with intent to distribute it and possession of heroin with intent to distribute it.
He maintains his innocence and, according to court documents, his trial date has now been fixed for November 14.
John pleaded guilty on March 31 to conspiring to import heroin into the United States. He is now awaiting sentencing, at a date yet to be fixed, and remains in custody.