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Mum who was paid £1,300 to smuggle £170k of cocaine into UK was caught at Manchester Airport

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A mum who was paid £1,300 in the Caribbean to smuggle more than £170,000-worth of cocaine into the UK has been jailed for three years – condemning her to live more than 4,000 miles away from her young daughter.

Chantel Fullerton, 27, agreed to act as a drugs mule after losing her job as a carer on the island of Grenada.

She was arrested in August after a drug sniffer dog detected the white powder in her luggage as she arrived at Manchester Airport.

Immigration officers searched her cases and discovered four packages sewn into the corners – and three further packages in the base. The 2kg haul had a street value of £171,000.

Fullerton denied knowing about the drugs, claiming she had travelled to the UK to attend the Notting Hill Carnival in London.

But investigators found a hand written note in her pocket saying a woman had paid her £1,386 and there was a further receipt of £1,200 for the flights.

Minshull Street Crown Court

At Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, Fullerton who has been incarcerated at Styal women’s prison in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to the importation of class A drugs.

Her six-year-old daughter is currently being cared for by her sister back in Grenada.

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Prosecutor Miss Lisa Boocock told the hearing: “The defendant was effectively a mule and two kilos of cocaine were found in total.

“The defendant is from Grenada, and she came to Manchester and came by Jamaica, then came to Manchester Airport. On August, 23, a drugs dog detected something in the luggage aisle.

 

“When the defendant collected her luggage, she was questioned by Immigration officers and she told them a story that she had been travelling to the country for the Notting Hill Carnival. Located in a pocket was a written note that a woman had paid her £1,386 in sterling. 

“There was a further receipt of £1,200 for the flights.

“She was then presented with her suitcase which was subjected to a search, and officers discovered seven packages of cocaine. Four packages were concealed on the corners of the suitcase, and three were found in the base of the suitcase under the lining. They were of 74 per cent and 70pc purity.

“The commercial price of the total amount of cocaine was calculated as £66,000.

“The street price was calculated up to £171,000. She was arrested and interviewed, but denied the offence. She said she had no knowledge of the cocaine in the suitcase.

“The defendant is 27 and has no previous convictions in this country”.

Grenada

In mitigation, defence lawyer Alexander Leech said: “There was some financial advantage. It’s important to know she involved herself with this offence, without looking at her present circumstances, there is some degree of naivety.

“She had no influence on those above her in the chain. It was not her own operation. There was two kilos discovered, which equals a six year starting point in terms of imprisonment.

“She is away from her daughter and she is overwhelmed by the seriousness of the crime. She is trying to return to her. She is a woman of good character. She lost her career as a carer.

“She has lost contact with her six year old, who doesn’t know what to expect.

“She has occasional telephone contact, and her sister is currently caring for the child. This weighs upon her. She is aware she will be missing the key formative years of her daughter’s life whilst she is incarcerated in another country.

 

“There is a debt of despair on her.

“Couple that with a sense of remorse for her behaviour. It is not uncommon for women in her position who are targeted. She acknowledges her stupidity for the sum of £1,300. She is a single mother.”

Sentencing her, Judge Paul Lawton said: “Like many other women in your position, you were targeted and you imported white power, namely cocaine, into Manchester Airport.

“On August 23 this year, the drugs were disguised in a sophisticated way, but were detected by a drug detection dog. You denied knowledge of the drugs, but when this case came before this court, you admitted your guilt.

“You are 27 and a single mother of your six year old daughter. You have been separated from her in a foreign jurisdiction in HMP Styal.

“I am able to reduce the sentence from the starting point for the guilty plea and for the significant mitigation. You may be returned to Grenada upon your release, but that is for the relevant authorities”.

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Caribbean & World

Wanted man charged for attempted noncapital murder

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by Linda Straker

  • Charged with 3 offences including attempted noncapital murder
  • Remanded to Richmond Hill Prison

Police have confirmed that Triend Charles who was wanted for questioning in connection with a shooting incident, was charged on the weekend with 3 offences including attempted noncapital murder.

He made his first appearance at the St George’s Magistrate Court on Monday, 17 February 2020 and was remanded to Richmond Hill Prison. His other charges are possession of firearm and ammunition.

The Royal Grenada Police Force in a wanted man notice said that it was seeking the assistance of the general public in locating Triend Charles, 21-year-old, Unemployed of Vendome, St George.

He is scheduled to return to court in early March.

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Caribbean & World

Missing Man: Devon Jeffrey | NOW Grenada

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Police are seeking the assistance of the general public in locating Devon Jeffrey, 30 years old of La Mode, St George.

Jeffrey was last seen on Sunday, 16 February 2020 about 5:50 pm. He is approximately 5 feet 1 inch in height, medium built and dark in complexion.

Anyone seeing Devon Jeffrey or has any information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Central Police Station at 440 2245; CID at 440 3921; Police emergency at 911; police hotline at 444 1958 or the nearest police station.

Office of Commissioner of Police

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Caribbean & World

M-Power 2.0 to commence in March

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The Ministry of Youth Development, Sports, Culture and the Arts is putting systems in place to roll out M-Power 2.0 in March 2020.

The first component of the project saw the training of 500 males within varying categories. They included soft skills, certified direct skills, literacy and numeracy exposure, social care, counselling, social interactive activities, community sport, community projects and apprenticeship placement.

Each participant was registered under a constituency package, where they received a stipend allowance of $700 monthly. Further, they were also engaged in quarterly motivational meetings and updates.

Participants were also exposed to CVQ training in Computer Repairs, Property and Facilities Management, Civil Engineering, Excavator Operations, Plumbing and General Construction. Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Small Engine Repairs and Welding, also formed part of the training.

Several entities of both private and public sector, also partnered with the M-Power Project, to offer apprenticeship training. This resulted in 20 participants gaining full-time employment while several others were able to secure part-time employment. Additionally, each participant who successfully completed the project received a $2,400 grant fund. The fund targeted participants’ engagement in a small business initiative which was fully supported and supervised by the Small Business Unit of the Ministry of Youth Development.

“M-Power 2.0 will now focus on National Training Agency CVQ qualifications for the participants,’ said Project Officer at the Ministry of Youth Development, Earle Williams.

The M-Power Project is a training course conceptualised to specifically target young males aged 18-30 from ‘on-the-block’ who are unemployed.

The programme also serves as a means of empowering them to be more responsible citizens.

Ministry of Youth Development

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