Footballer gets 15 years for role as ‘kingpin’ of cocaine plot
A Southampton Rangers football player has been jailed for 15 years for his role as “kingpin” in a plot to bring almost $500,000 worth of cocaine into Bermuda.
Everett Bean, 31, masterminded the plan to smuggle in the shipment from the Caribbean in January 2011. He recruited Randolph Simons to collect the drugs — concealed in an air compressor — from a courier company. Simons, 47, a career criminal, was jailed for 12 years as the “pick-up man” in the operation.
At a sentencing hearing in Supreme Court yesterday, prosecutor Carrington Mahoney said the defendants should receive stiff custodial sentences, pointing out that drugs were responsible for “all manner of social ills”.
But defence lawyer Shade Subair, representing Simons, said her client played only a minor role in the plot.
Ms Subair pointed out that it was Simons’ co-accused, Bean, who was caught in possession of a “hot” cellphone that had been used to arrange the shipment from Trinidad.
“There were several calls to Trinidad and there were three calls to Mr Simons,” Ms Subair said.
“They came to less than four minutes in total. That makes his role a lot less significant than Mr Bean’s.
She stressed that Simons was only given one task to pick up the parcel from the courier company.
“That did not involve any level of sophistication. It’s a lot less involved,” she said.
Representing Bean, lawyer Marc Daniels said that his client was a family man with ambitions to continue his education and become a lawyer. He also pointed out that Bean had only one previous drugs conviction — cannabis possession when he was a teenager.
And he said it was impossible for Bean to feel any remorse for a crime that he maintained he did not commit.
Reminding the court that, at his trial, the prosecution case was based on cell phone evidence, Mr Daniels said: “It is a far cry that Mr Bean was in any way a mastermind behind some operation.”
Bean, a father-of-two, maintained his innocence, telling Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves before sentence was passed that he was “a victim of the system”.
And Simons, who has 87 previous convictions, told the judge: “God is not deaf. God is not blind. Thank you, sir.”
Passing sentence, Puisne Judge Greaves said: “The evidence against Mr Bean strongly pointed to the inference that he was the kingpin in this operation. There is strong evidence of telephone communications and observations on him.
“He was the person who entered into the arrangement and who communicated with the overseas suppliers. He was also the person who brought Mr Simons into the arrangement prior to importation.
“The evidence in respect of Mr Simons was that he entered into an agreement for the importation of drugs. His role was to collect the drugs — that was the agreement he entered into.
“He was the pick-up man who collected the drugs and that was what the $1,200 in his pocket was all about — his payment for going through all the trouble of this very interesting exercise.”
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