Amateur cocaine dealers get 12½ years in jail

| 22/08/2018 | 54 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Two former support staff from the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration were both given twelve and a half year jail terms on Wednesday. Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn delivered her decision in Summary Court following the men’s conviction for cocaine dealing earlier this year. Stephen Wayne Hurlston (28) and Oscar Lee Watler (32) had no previous convictions and were described by their lawyers as “bumbling incompetent amateurs” when they mitigated on their behalf. Nevertheless, following the guidelines and precedent, the magistrate handed down the 12½ year sentences for possession of more than 1.5 lbs of cocaine.

The two men were arrested when a police officer spotted them at the side of a parked car, acting suspiciously on an empty lot in Patrick’s Island in October 2015. The officer ultimately recovered packages of cocaine in and under the car, as well as drug-related paraphernalia from Watler’s pockets.

They pleaded not guilty, claiming the drugs must have been there before they arrived. They also denied telling the police officer that they had found the drugs on the beach and begging him to give them “a bligh” (let them go) because they could not afford to lose their jobs at immigration.

In her verdict the magistrate described some of the claims made by the defendants as “unbelievable” and said there were “significant inconsistencies” in their stories as they tried to explain away the evidence against them. She said she was satisfied the men had found the drugs on the beach and had decided to sell it to make some money, which explained the lack of evidence found at their homes or on their phones, as would be expected of professional dealers.

During the sentencing hearing the lawyers said that the men know they should have gone to the police but in their excitement over finding the haul, they made the mistaken decision to keep it.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (54)

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  1. FH says:

    Lets set this straight

    White people love the coke along with the Dominicans (who sell it)
    and its a lot of white dudes who be doing that shit in work bathrooms and all up 7mile stretch.

    The Jam ppl mess with the weed mostly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To those who argue Cocaine is a “hard drug” that “destroys people’s lives”

    I’d simply respond by saying that the ban has nothing to do with the potency of the drug or the effects it has or has had on society

    Alcohol is without a doubt the most deadly drug in all of history yet it is perfectly legal, it is responsible for destroying far more lives than cocaine yet it is perfectly legal

    The war on drugs is a sham
    If they were really concerned with the effects of drugs then why are alcohol and cigarettes legal?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ah, how refreshing to see the old games continuing…Caymanians blaming expats for everything from immigration through to drug taking when the original article was about two Caymanians ( cue for heritage questions!) who got caught and sentenced. It is blatantly obvious that there is a drug problem here, and much to my chagrin I understood even my neighbor (also expat) was on his porch trying to hide his ganja -but the smell kind of gives it away. I think the big difference is, expats get caught, they are so out of here…Caymanians become the unemployable…whichever way, it needs a response, but one has to question, at least from what I have seen, if there are interests protecting interests here in some part…

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares if a neighbor is smoking tobacco on their porch? No one.

      Who cares if a neighbor is getting drunk on their porch? No one.

      Who cares if a neighbor is drinking cannabis tea or smoking a joint on their porch? People like you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you should have stayed where you came from and try an clean up the mess there with your own neighbors,oh that probably would get you killed, so just try an relax an enjoy that sweet aroma an just be grateful that it’s not gun powder your smelling.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see you have the standards of a crack whore. Always that same answer, eh? Go sort problems in your place whilst we deny there is any issue here! That’s why this place is screwed. You are in denial and can’t accept that there are problems here. Or if there are problems, it’s always everyone else’s fault, never yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the smoke is blowing on my terrace and I can’t stand the smell, it becomes not just my problem, but the neighbors too. I have young kids. They are always asking what that strange smell is.

      • Anonymous says:

        The food we buy our kids from the supermarket is probably more harmful than the “smell” they take in from their neighbor.

        Processed food….killing us all.

        On the other hand, good luck explaining to your kids why a plant, is illegal, today, but totally legal for trade and as tender about 150 years ago!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cocaine is legally classified as a hard drug which carries an overall higher starting point for sentencing than for example ganja.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it hilarious that we have to keep referring to this person as an amateur. Does it really matter? Drug dealer regardless. It’s not like it was a little baggie.

    • Anonymous says:

      No we got to let people know that the flip was a flop, or if the clown could actually juggle and amaze people.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If immigration and police was to do a drug test sweep of Expats working on Seven Mile Beach at least 60% of them would test positive for cocaine. 80% if you just tested the bartenders. I am an expat and I work on Seven Mile and I know this for a fact. Serious drug problem you all have here.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know nothing….you just like stirring sh!t. The sad facts are that most drug busts are Caymanians or Jamaicans-go figure. A good portion of the expat community are fitness freaks, the picture does not match your somewhat hateful words.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because you may not do drugs, do not swear for others. If the expat community were not consuming so much cocaine, there would not be such high demand. Cayman has it’s fair share of crack cocaine addicts, but those persons, you can see a mile away. The ones who sniff the drug, have to be making a decent income to support that habit. Just research the street value of powder cocaine vs crack. One look at Cayman’s society and you can clearly see that the Caymanians are not the ones keeping that market a float.

        • Anonymous says:

          You sound increasingly like a dealer…how come you claim to know so much?

          • Anonymous says:

            Google my friend. It does not take rocket scientist to figure that out. Sorry that you are far too lazy to even self educate. Why are you even commenting if you have nothing valuable to add to the discussion?

      • Anonymous says:

        Wake up!

      • G says:

        Jamaicans? Cocaine? Please hush because you have no clue what you’re talking about. The only thing Jamaicans love is green and it’s a plant by the name of marijuana. It is YOU expats that love to have that white stuff flying up your nostrils.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on! the Expat lawyers and accountants as well. The Police needs to crash some of these house parties. Serious problem!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m the smartest doctor on earth and declare cocaine to be safe.

      Signed, another anonymous person on the internet.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no problem with my drugs, thank you very much. And for the vast vast majority of users they are tremendous fun.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:36 I’m not sure it’s that prevalent and it’s also not just expats but Caymanians as well. A while back I did a few trips with one local dive boat skipper who is always totally f***ed on coke. There was nothing anyone could do about it because he was related to the owner of the place. I suspect some of the people reading this will know who I mean.

      The harsh reality is that drug screening is something that employers should be doing (don’t two of the big hotels already do it?) and it also needs to be added to the WP medical. It’s not complicated and only needs a urine sample or a mouth swab. Before coming here the resort I worked at subjected all dive and watersports center staff to random tests to make sure they stayed clean. This was all completely unannounced so the first you knew about it was when you arrived at work in the morning. That pretty much eliminated drug use because anyone who tested positive ended up talking to the police. They could also breath-test anyone who appeared to turn up for work still recovering from a heavy night in the bar. If you failed that they gave you the day off without pay and checked you again the next morning. This worked on a ‘three strikes’ basis and getting caught three times was automatic dismissal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Clear message to all….stay well away from drugs. They can cost your life in so many ways.

  8. #ifromyah says:

    And a child molester gets a way lesser sentencing please explain

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hard drugs like this are a serious crime problem. A long sentence is necessary or they get released in no time. Look at Watson. These guys could be out in two years.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If they killed someone while drunk driving they would get only 2 years – go figure!

    • Anonymous says:

      Manslaughter gets you about 4 years if found guilty, 2 years if you plead guilty. These idiots would have gotten around 4.5 years if they decided not to waste the courts time. And doubt they found a half kilo on the beach they most likely bought it and stopped to split it up.

    • Anonymous says:

      @8:58 turning someone into a cocaine zombie is the same as killing that person, if not worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nobody forces anyone to buy Cocaine. People freely choose to buy it.

        Stop making excuses for grown adults.

        • Say it like it is says:

          2.43pm What on earth are you talking about, and your thumbs up as well.The problem is addiction, once habituated on hard drugs there is no question of free choice, they become permanently hooked and it is just about impossible to break the habit. This is the tragedy of cocaine and dealers need to become addicted to jail time for the mayhem they cause to users and their families.

    • Jotnar says:

      Unless they worked for immigration and made sure they didn’t stop and report the accident – then it would be a few weeks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Drugs washing up on the shore all the time…who lives by the shore. Those drug addled crabs I tell ya!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Excellent! Too bad they will be out in 8 years or less.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now theres a couple of home grown idiots! It never ceases to amaze me the difference in comments when its one of your own….

  14. West Bay Premier says:

    I have to say that’s what you get for helping destroy people’s lives , it’s too bad he was not a professional , then he minght have got 25 years , if 12 1/2 is for an amateur .

  15. Comparing Cases says:

    I know these two young men, and I am sadden by the events that transpired. I hope to God they found the drugs and items on the beach with no intentions of selling it. But the incriminating evidence (based on the police officers story) from their car and person, points to just that.

    12 years and a half years imprisonment is kind of a harsh sentence compared to the sentences I see laid on other offenders. I just have to wonder what measuring stick did the Magistrate used with this case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well this particular Magistrate likes to throw the book as far as she can go.

      It is embarrassing though, to see that pedophiles and rapists get less time. DUI manslaughters, get less time.

      Sure, cocaine is a serious drug and ruins people’s lives. However, suffering from the loss of life or knowing that someone took a part of you that can never be returned is the most difficult thing to live with.

    • Anonymous says:

      The “yard stick” is something called “sentencing guidelines. Cayman has their own but when there is no guide for a particular offence the UK guidelines are used. Generally speaking there is always a starting point for an offence, but if there is aggravating features the overall sentence will go up, if there are mitigating features it will go down. Consideration is given for time spent in custody so this is deducted as well. Maximum of a third can deducted for guilty plea. This is a simplified beginning of how a sentence is determined. However lots of other factors may be present which must be considered as well which affects the overall length of final sentence, ie things said on behalf of the person by their lawyer or what is contained in the social inquiry report. Go to court one day listen to a sentence hearing, unless it’s ordered closed it is a public hearing open to anyone to listen, you’ll get an idea of how a sentence is arrived at. I know many will probably say what I have written is rubbish but this is how it works

  16. Anonymous says:

    Serves em right, but a question to ponder: was the quality of their greed any different from from yours or mine, or say a huge developer who is overcome by the desire for money, despite the negative consequences of their action? Just asking.

  17. Say it like it is says:

    When I see the consequences of the actions of these dregs of humanity I can only congratulate the magistrate on giving them what they truly deserve. Yet another black mark for immigration staff.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Seems a bit excessive compared to other crimes out there. Trying to send a message about finding drugs on the beach I guess??

    • Anonymous says:

      i think you deserve a little stretch for such a stupid comment….

    • Don't Add Up to Me says:

      First time offenders. Never sold drugs before. No monies found or evidence of transactions on them. They said they found it on the beach. …

      But you slap these Caymanians with 12 1/2 years compared to certain other criminals that get less???

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