Customs officer testifies in duo’s drug trial

ST JAMES, Jamaica - A customs officer gave testimony in the St James Parish Court on Monday in the ongoing drug trial of two St James residents who were arrested in 2021 for nine ounces of cocaine. The drugs were seized at a Montego Bay courier service company.

Kadisha Johnson of Kempshot district in St James and Calvin Grant, also from St James, are on trial before presiding parish judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley for possession, dealing, attempting to export and conspiracy to export cocaine.

During her testimony on Monday, the customs officer from the Customs Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) told the court that on the day in question she was performing routine examinations on outgoing packages at the courier company when she selected a box addressed to someone in Brampton, Canada, with Johnson as the consignor. The box, she claimed, contained several packages labelled “cheese puffs” and ‘”plantain chips” that felt abnormal and was later found to be a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

She further testified that she detained the packages and notified narcotics officers.

Subsequently, attorneys-at-law Charles Sinclair and Henry McCurdy, representing the defendants, proceeded to cross-examine the customs officer.

No other witnesses were summoned to the stand, and the case was scheduled for continuation on September 5.

The duo’s bails were extended.

According to reports, on February 21, 2021, Johnson went to a courier service company in Montego Bay to send a box to an individual in Canada with several packages labelled "cheese puffs" and "plantain chips." However, when the packages were opened, approximately nine ounces of cocaine was discovered.

After being cautioned, Johnson told the authorities that Grant was the individual who had given her the box to ship. Grant was subsequently arrested.

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