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Cocaine smuggler jailed for six years

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A DRUGS courier who smuggled £21,000 worth of cocaine into Jersey to pay off a debt has been jailed for six years and three months.

A picture supplied by Customs and Immigration of the packages of drugs concealed by Ennis

William Francis Ennis was stopped by Customs officers when he arrived at the Airport from Liverpool at about 6.30 pm on 20 February, the Royal Court heard on Monday.

Although no prohibited items were found during a search of the 50-year-old’s bag, swabs of his belongings gave positive indications of the presence of cocaine.

Ennis was taken to the Hospital and an X-ray showed that he had concealed ten packages internally.

Nine of the packages contained crystalline powder, the Superior Number, which only convenes for the most serious cases, heard. An analysis of the powder revealed it contained 64 per cent cocaine and had a street value of up to £21,000.

The tenth package contained cannabis which the court heard was likely to be for Ennis’ personal use.

Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said: ‘Ennis has a long history of substance abuse. He told a probation officer that he felt he had no choice [to import the cocaine].

‘It was the only way his drug debt would be erased.’

Ennis, who pleaded guilty to importing cocaine and cannabis, had convictions for 11 previous offences, including for possession of a class A drug.

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Advocate Adam Harrison, defending, said his client wished to apologise to the court.

‘He got into debt particularly 18 months ago. The immediate cause of that was the death of his mother, which led to a spiral,’ Advocate Harrison said.

‘He had no means to clear the debt and for that reason he became involved in the importation.’

Advocate Harrison said that this was the first time Ennis had been charged with importation and that his client was planning on using his time in prison to address his dependency on drugs and alcohol.

Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, presiding, said that couriers played a vital role in drug dealing. However, he said the court felt that in an ‘act of mercy’ it would reduce the 6½-year custodial sentence which the Crown had called for by three months.

The commissioner was sitting with Jurats Charles Blampied, Rozanne Thomas, Pamela Pitman, Robert Christensen and Sylvia Milner.

Krysta Eaves

By Krysta Eaves
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