Two Bermudians living in the UK were jailed today for a drug smuggling plot involving 307 grams of cocaine that was more than 50 percent pure, with an estimated street vale of $31,592, once converted from British pound value to US currency.
According to the Hull Daily Mail, Sharnell “Ari-Genae” Simmons, 41, and Kyle Lightbourne, , 36, were jailed for three years and six years respectively, after they pleaded guilty to the charges drawn against them.
In a report filed by Simon Brisow today, Ms Simmons “arrived at King George Dock on a ferry from Rotterdam on August 28 last year, and had two packages of cocaine glued to the insoles of her shoes”.
The Hull Crown Court heard that “she panicked while waiting in the arrivals lounges and tried to hide the drugs on a table, while her accomplice, Kyle Lightbourne, 35, who travelled with her, tried to distract staff by talking to them”.
The report continues: “Although they had family contacts in their native Bermuda, they met in England and Lightbourne had ‘pressured’ Simmons, a former pub singer, into carrying the drugs with the promise of helping her nephew, who had become ’embroiled in gang culture in Bermuda’.”
“Lightbourne had moved to the UK three years earlier to look after his teenage son, a member of Stoke’s City’s football academy, because his mother had moved back to Bermuda following her brother’s murder.
“Describing the discovery of the drugs, prosecutor Richard Thompson said: ‘They arrived in the port of Hull from Rotterdam by ferry. Having proceeded to passport control they were asked to wait while other passengers disembarked so that passport and nationality tests could be completed and their luggage searched.
“In the arrival area, it was apparent, the Crown say, from that point they were likely to be searched, so Miss Simmons set about seeking to dispose of the drugs concealed by the insoles of the shoes she was wearing.
“Initially, she went to use the toilet, but she was followed by an alert member of Boarder Agency staff. Once back in the waiting area, CCTV footage shows her removing her shoes, leaning over a headrest to a table behind her, and clearly disposing of something on that table underneath tourist information leaflets.
“Lightbourne also tried to cover the drugs with leaflets and then spoke to Boarder Agency staff as a distraction.”
According to the report, both defendants “admitted evading the prohibition on the importation of cocaine. The report also stated that “Simmons had no previous convictions, Lightbourne had none in the UK, but had two convictions for possessing cannabis in Bermuda, and one for possessing cocaine with intent to supply. As he was sentenced to the UK equivalent of a community order for the cocaine offence, Judge Mark Bury accepted a defence submission it was for his own use”.
Lightbourne’s lawyer told the court that her client “got involved in the plot because “he found himself short of money. He fell in with individuals involved in the drugs world, and of course, he only has himself to blame”.
He was ultimately jailed for six years, and Simmons was jailed for three years imprisonment.