A Latvian citizen and a woman employed to the Norman Manley International Airport, who are accused of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act, are to return to court on March 23 to have their bail application continued.
The accused, 30-year old Rihards Upenieks, and 32-year-old Terica Millwood made their first appearance in the Kingston and St. Andrew parish court Tuesday.
Upenieks, who was boarding a flight to England on March 10, was arrested after the police discovered a quantity of cocaine among items he was carrying.
Robian Williams was in court.
Both Millwood and Upenieks have denied any knowledge of the cocaine.
Four-point-four kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of US $3,800 was seized. The court was told that if the drug had made it to England, it would have a street value of £300,000.
The accused are jointly charged with conspiracy to export cocaine. Additionally, Upenieks was charged with possession of, dealing in and attempting to export cocaine.
The clerk informed the court that the forensic certificate, reports from the police’s Communication Forensics and Cybercrime Division and corroborating statements are outstanding from the case file.
King’s Counsel Peter Champagnie, who represents Upenieks, urged the court to consider bail as his client has been cooperating with the police. He said his client has no previous convictions, is not a flight risk and has no objection to surrendering his travel documents.
He submitted that Upenieks purchased a voucher from a gift store in New Kingston and collected the items at the airport before his departure.
This was after clearing security.
When the illegal substance was found, Upenieks reportedly said, “they must’ve given me the wrong package”, and that he only saw cocaine in movies.
In making the application, Mr. Champagnie said his client’s wife from Texas, who was present in court, has secured a residence for her husband to stay if granted bail.
Millwood, is represented by defence counsel Alexander Shaw. Mr. Shaw said Millwood is a mother of two; a 13-year-old girl and a 10-year-old son. She’s been employed to the airport for more than seven years.
He added that her son is preparing for exams and being separated from his mother is affecting him. Mr. Shaw said Millwood’s daughter has been “crying every day since her arrest.”
The clerk told the judge that the crown is not opposing bail but insisted on the imposition of “strict conditions”.
The police will now have to verify addresses given by both the accused.