American woman says she was offered money to be drug mule
MONTEGO BAY, St James — An American woman who claimed she was offered US$2,500 to be a drug mule has to prove to the court on Tuesday that she has a place to stay in Jamaica if she is granted bail.
Erena Washington, a New York resident, is charged with possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export cocaine. She is being represented by attorney-at-law Michael Hemmings. She was remanded in custody when she appeared in the St James Parish Court last Friday.
The police say Washington was apprehended on December 4 while at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James.
Unusual bulges were reportedly detected in the lower section of her body during a routine security check. She was asked what was inside, but she did not respond.
During a search, four packages of cocaine weighing approximately five pounds, which were strapped to her thighs and calves, were removed from a pair of leggings she was wearing.
When cautioned by the police, Washington reportedly said, “I was in debt and was given a trip to come to Jamaica by a friend to have fun for a few days and pick up a few packages and take them back to the United States… I was to be paid US$2,500 when I get back to the United States.”
After the allegations were outlined, Hemmings informed the court that he had only received partial disclosure and was not in a position to take full instruction from his client.
Regarding bail, Hemmings stated that Washington has ties to Jamaica and that she has someone in Kingston who can act as surety and with whom she can reside. He stated, however, that the individual was unable to appear in court on Friday.
Presiding Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley stated that she would like to see that person before considering bail, and Hemmings requested that the matter be mentioned on Tuesday, December 19.
Washington was remanded in custody until that date.