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Cannabis importer imprisoned for seven years

A man involved in the importation of more than $850,000 worth of cannabis has been jailed for seven years.

Kenneth Butterfield, 33, told Supreme Court he got embroiled in the scheme amid financial worries over his sick child.

“I did it for the promise of money from the people involved,” he said, explaining his son needed heart surgery at the time.

Prosecutor Larissa Burgess told the court the drugs came into Bermuda stashed in a toolbox.

It arrived on the Island on a ship from New Jersey on December 2, 2008. When it was inspected and x-rayed by Customs officers, they found 28 packages of drugs concealed in the bottom and legs of the box.

They later raided Butterfield's home on North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish, and recovered documents and computer records linking him to the crime.

Ms Burgess said the cannabis weighed 17,015 grams and was worth $850,750 on the streets.

Butterfield has previous convictions for using offensive words and possessing cannabis resin.

He pleaded guilty to importing a controlled drug during an earlier court hearing.

During sentencing proceedings yesterday, Butterfield told the court he's been involved in charitable work during his time on remand in prison.

He explained he's been working with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, helping inmates get their GED's and plans to teach them how to fix computers.

He apologized to the court and his family and told Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves: “I'm an honourable man and I'm not going to run from my mistakes.”

Butterfield was charged along with two other men, Kyle Ingham, 25 and Dennis Wright, 28.

Mr Wright has fled the island while Mr Ingham denies involvement in the plot and is due to stand trial at a later date.

Kenneth Butterfield, shown in a file photo, was jailed for seven years for importing cannabis.

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Published December 21, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 21, 2010 at 7:23 am)

Cannabis importer imprisoned for seven years

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