KEVIN Newell, a pastor who was allegedly held with 13 pounds of cocaine after returning to the island on a flight from Panama, was granted bail when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.
Newell, the police reported, was apprehended at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on September 12 last year after the contraband was found in a suitcase he attempted to remove from the carousel.
Newell pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey yesterday.
"I went to Panama to preach, and when I got to the airport I was given a suitcase by a man named 'Roy' who lives in Panama. I had no knowledge that drugs was in the suitcase," he told the magistrate.
Newell begged the judge for bail.
"Please if you could give me bail. I need to go see my grandmother. When I am over Narcotics [where being held] chink bite me up. I want to go home," he pleaded.
"You travel a lot?" RM Pusey asked.
"Yes, your honour," he replied.
He was then granted bail in the sum of $200,000 with one or two sureties.
He is scheduled to return to court to answer to the charges of illegal possession of, dealing in and trafficking cocaine on February 21.