Three more jailed in drug conspiracy case

| 28/09/2016 | 0 Comments

(CNS): One woman and two men were jailed Wednesday for their part in a drug conspiracy case that has so far seen the man at the centre of the conspiracy, Alexander Adrian Ebanks (24), receive a six and a half year term and Canute Nairn walk free after he was found not guilty. But Jaesha Maliya Hendrix (22), Ebanks’ girlfriend, received just nine months after she admitted bringing in bags last summer which he used to package cocaine and pills, while Christopher Digregrio Khan (27) and Christopher Philip Bodden (21) both received terms of 28 months for street dealing cocaine and ecstasy after their guilty pleas.

All three of the conspirators were arrested and charged because of evidence on the phones found by police after a drug operation at Ebanks’ home. The phones included messages incriminating the various players in the conspiracy.

None of three had any previous convictions and played lesser roles in the conspiracy, which took place across a three-month period last year. But Justice Michael Mettyear still took a dim view of their part and pointed out that any form of drug dealing in the Cayman Islands was considered very serious and that they were “peddling misery”, which was a disruption to society.

The court heard that Hendrix, who has dual US and Cayman nationality, grew up in Florida. When she was 19 she was sent to stay with relative here, where she met Ebanks and was sucked into his lifestyle. Although she had denied knowing that he was dealing drugs and claimed she thought the bags were for ganja, despite their size, the judge was not convinced and gave her a one-year sentence with a three-month reduction for her guilty plea.

The court heard that Bodden, who was described as coming from a “good family” who had no idea he was using cocaine, had fallen into bad company and bought drugs from Ebanks and begun selling them on occasion to fund his own use. His attorney had urged the court to suspended any custodial sentence, since he had no previous convictions and his family was now helping him turn his life around. However, Justice Mettyear gave Bodden two years and four months after discounting a four-year sentence because of mitigation and his guilty plea.

Khan (27), who was also described as a street dealer, had on two occasions bought cocaine and ecstasy from Ebanks and sold it on. He had lost his job at a local bank after he was charged with money laundering, having helped Ebanks convert CI$1,000 to US dollars ahead of a trip he had taken to Jamaica to buy cocaine when there was a shortage of American currency in Cayman because of the challenges faced by money transfer services at the time.

Khan was said to be of previous good character but had fallen into the wrong crowd following a divorce and made poor judgements. But in order to secure custody of his young daughter, he had turned his life around. While on remand following his arrest he had secured a new job and was living a quite purposeful life, focusing on his child. The judge was again not swayed by his attorney to consider suspending the sentence and also gave Khan 28 months after discounting his sentence for the same reasons as Bodden.

As the sentences were delivered and the group taken into custody, the courtroom was an emotional scene, packed with friends and family clearly distraught as their love ones were taken away.

Four more suspects in the conspiracy are all due to face trail next year.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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