Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Woman imprisoned for importing 49kg of cannabis

A woman who attempted to smuggle more than $2 million worth of cannabis was on Friday sentenced to spend ten years in prison.

Mary Johnson, 53, from Edgeway Lane, Pembroke, was arrested at Newark’s Liberty International Airport on October 21 last year with 49kg of cannabis bricks concealed in her luggage in false bottoms.

Prosecutors told the court the estimated value of the seized drugs on the streets of Bermuda is $2,468,500.

Johnson had told the courts that she accepted $2,570 by a drug dealer to bring the bags into the country, but had no knowledge of their contents, but a jury found her guilty of conspiring to import the drugs.

At Friday’s sentencing in Supreme Court, Crown counsel Larissa Burgess said the only factor in favour of Johnson was that she had been co-operative with police investigating the matter.

However, attorney Larry Mussenden, representing Johnson, stressed that his client faced numerous challenges, including issues with cannabis and cocaine. Mr Mussenden also told the court that Johnson may have cancer.

Johnson herself apologised to the court, the community and her family, saying she had only agreed to fly to the US to see a terminally-ill relative.

“I just wanted to see my family. Now I’m here and I’m all alone,” she said. “I don’t even know if I’m going to live through this. I just want to spend some time with my family.”

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves said he was not unsympathetic to the challenges that Johnson has faced in her life, saying: “She appears to be a simple person who has done a stupid thing, and was taken advantage of by ruthless men.”

However, he said he could not ignore the massive quantity of drugs and the fact that Johnson had spent six months in prison for a prior offence of importing cannabis.

“It’s said that even a fool should be wise in hindsight,” he said. “You already have the benefit of hindsight. You should have been wise enough this time around not to do it.”

Noting the quantity of drugs involved in the attempted importation, Mr Justice Greaves said he had never seen anyone attempt to bring such a large load in their luggage.

He sentenced Johnson to ten years in prison, with time already spent in custody taken into account.

He additionally ordered her to take part in all recommended treatment programmes, both in custody and on parole.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 26, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 26, 2011 at 6:48 am)

Woman imprisoned for importing 49kg of cannabis

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon