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Self-styled pastor remanded on cocaine charge

Tanesha Mundle

Monday, October 01, 2012    

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A minister of religion — who claimed that he did not know that he was bringing cocaine into the island and would not tell a lie as he is a man of God — was Friday remanded in custody when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on cocaine charges.

The accused, Kevin Newell was recently held at the Norman Manley Airport with 13 1/4 pounds of cocaine hidden in a false compartment of his suitcase on his arrival into the island from Panama.

On Friday, when Newell appeared before Magistrate Georgianna Fraser, he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and importing cocaine but informed the court that he was not aware that he had cocaine in his possession.

"When I received the suitcase, I look in there and I saw only female clothing, I never saw any crack," said Newell, explaining further that he would never get involved in drugs as he is a Christian and a preacher.

When asked by the judge who gave him the suitcase, Newell said he only knew the man's name as "Roy".

"As a minister of the gospel, I would never tell a lie and Jesus knows that a truth me a tell," Newell insisted.

The magistrate then informed him that in light of his explanation, she would not accept his guilty plea and would be trying the matter.

Newell, who is also charged for dealing in cocaine and conspiracy to import cocaine, will stand trial on November 13, 2012.

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