Issues with infertility prompted a 32-year-old Jamaican woman to take a trip to Barbados but it was an act of deception on a family member’s part that landed her in trouble with the law here.
Annika Andrea Henry, of Sevens Road, Maypen in Clarendon gave the explanation today when she appeared before Magistrate Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell and pleaded guilty to possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking in as well as importation of cannabis.
The illicit drug weighed 1.8 kilogrammes and had a $14, 512 estimated street value.
“I didn’t willfully bring it here. I have a cousin here,” said Henry who explained that she planned the trip after being in contact with a fertility centre here. She said the centre had emailed her about “things they can do”.
Henry said she then contacted her cousin about a trip and during the conversation informed him that she did not have a suitcase and would have to get one.
“His friend brought me a suitcase. I opened it. I didn’t see nothing in there. I didn’t know that they had put stuff in it. If I had known I wouldn’t have bring it,” a tearful Henry said even as she admitted that her cousin had “set [me] up”.
Through questioning by the magistrate she said she had not been promised any money and her cousin was the one to pick her up on arrival here.
“I gave the police my cousin’s name and address. . . . I just came to visit to see what they [the fertility place] would tell me.
“I went to one in Jamaica but still could not conceive so I just wanted another opinion. I am not into that sort of thing. I didn’t know the drugs was there,” she added.
Prosecutor Station Seregant Glenda Carter-Nicholls said the geriatric nurse arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport from Kingston around 6:50 p.m. on August 16.
She collected her luggage after clearing immigration and was interviewed by police. She was then referred to customs where a search of her luggage was conducted. Four vacuum-sealed packages of vegetable matter were found concealed in a false side of the suitcase.
“I was the one bringing the suitcase to Barbados. It is mine,” she allegedly told police on being interviewed but declined to give a written statement.
“The Jamaican government needs to do something about this. They need to monitor the persons coming out more closely,” Magistrate Smith-Bovell said as she remanded Henry to Dodds pending sentencing.
The convicted woman will make her next appearance before the District ‘B’ Magistrates’ Court on Thursday August 22.