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CCTV footage shown in alleged drugs smuggling trial

The Supreme Court trial of Mary Johnson, accused of conspiring to smuggle cannabis into Bermuda, continued this morning with the jury shown CCTV footage of alleged co-conspirators entering and leaving her hotel in the US.

Ms Johnson, 53, of Smith’s, is accused of conspiring with others, between a date unknown and October 21 of last year, to import the drugs to the Island.

She was arrested on that date in Newark’s Liberty International Airport, after US agents discovered 49 kilos pf packaged cannabis concealed in four items of false-bottomed luggage. Ms Johnson was taken into custody after boarding her flight back to Bermuda.

The jury this morning heard evidence from Bermuda Customs Officer Dawnette Bell, who described Ms Johnson’s return to Bermuda under the escort of two US narcotics officers.

Special Constable Dena Robinson, a Bermuda police officer who works with Bermuda customs, took the stand.

Prosecutor Larissa Burgess reviewed selections of CCTV footage from Ms Johnson’s Best Western hotel in Newark, showing the hotel entrance during the early hours of the day she attempted to return to the Island.

Asked what she had noticed on the footage from 1.31am, Ms Robinson said: “I noticed that the bags were taken by two individuals into the hotel.”

Ms Robinson agreed that shortly later, she also saw another individual bringing a bag into the hotel where Ms Johnson was staying.

Footage from the morning showed Ms Johnson leaving the hotel with four bags.

Under questioning from Ms Johnson’s lawyer, Larry Mussenden, Ms Robinson was asked if the wrappings of the cannabis bricks found in Ms Johnson’s luggage had been tested for fingerprints.

“They were not,” she replied.

Asked if she knew that Ms Johnson had been asked by an acquaintance known as KJ to bring the bags back to Bermuda, Ms Robinson answered: “Yes.”

Mr Robinson also agreed that Ms Johnson had been offered money to bring the bags to the Island.

The court heard that Ms Johnson had been travelling to the US to visit an aunt who was ill.

The jury then heard testimony from Detective Sergeant Hayden Small, and was shown an emotional video interview with Ms Johnson taken at Somerset Police Station following her arrest in Bermuda.

The trial continues this afternoon.

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Published September 08, 2011 at 3:00 pm (Updated September 08, 2011 at 3:37 pm)

CCTV footage shown in alleged drugs smuggling trial

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