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Texan jailed two years for drug smuggling

A cruise ship passenger caught with $240,000 worth of drugs on a Bermuda-bound vessel was jailed for more than two years yesterday.

Margil Mireles, 32, was sentenced to 27 months in the Supreme Court for his involvement in a plot to bring cannabis, liquid THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, and shatter — a glasslike THC oil concentrate — into Bermuda.

However, Puisne Judge Craig Attridge highlighted that Mireles, from Houston, Texas, may already be eligible for release because of the 20 months he had spent on remand.

Mr Justice Attridge said: “This is a very significant quantity of more than one form of a controlled drug, which necessarily aggravates the offence, and the combined total street value of the drugs is $240,550.”

But he added that Mireles's previous good character should be considered, along with the delay in his guilty plea caused by reasonable arguments over jurisdiction in the case.

Mr Justice Attridge said: “The court accepts that his time in remand has allowed him to mature and trusts that he will in the future think first of his wife and children and consider the consequences of his actions or acting selfishly, as he acknowledges he did when embarking on this course of action.”

Mr Justice Attridge told Mireles: “I hope you have learnt from this and I wish you the best of luck.”

The court earlier heard that security staff on the Celebrity Summit on September 2, 2018, noticed suspicious abnormalities in an X-ray of a piece of luggage that belonged to Mireles.

His luggage was searched and several vials of liquid were found inside the lining of a pair of jeans.

The discovery sparked a search of his cabin, which revealed seven bags of plant material, 19 heat-sealed packages of shatter and another 116 vials of THC.

Police arrested Mireles when the ship docked in Bermuda on September 5.

He admitted possession of the drugs, but claimed he bought them for between $2,000 and $3,000 for his personal use.

Mireles later pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring with others to import the drugs into Bermuda.

The court heard the searches of Mireles's luggage and cabin turned up a total of 2,185 grams of shatter, 255.04 grams of cannabis and 123 vape pen cartridges containing THC.

The estimated street value of the shatter in Bermuda was said to be $218,500, the cannabis would have sold for $12,750 and the vape cartridges were worth $9,225.

Mr Justice Attridge suggested to Auralee Cassidy, Mireles's defence counsel, that she should make an effort to get her client on to the repatriation flight to the US scheduled for tomorrow.

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Published May 14, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated May 14, 2020 at 9:02 am)

Texan jailed two years for drug smuggling

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