Woman on drug charges allegedly assaulted while in police custody

ST ANDREW, Jamaica — A woman charged with drug trafficking was reportedly assaulted while in police custody, her attorney told the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday.

The woman, whose identity is being withheld for her protection, stood before Chief Parish Judge Chester Crooks to answer to the charges of conspiracy to export cocaine, possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine and attempting to export cocaine.

The allegations are that on Sunday, June 26, the woman attempted to board a JetBlue airplane scheduled to leave the island for New York City, United States. After going through the necessary security measures, an “unusual bulge” was detected on her person, court documents disclosed.

A search was carried out where airport officials found “three irregular parcels” in her bra. According to court documents, it was later discovered that the parcels amounted to two-and-a-half pounds of cocaine. The woman was then questioned by the police and charged.

However, the case quickly turned into a closed matter when the judge, upon the request from the woman's attorney, requested that both the media and other individuals slated to have their case mentioned, were asked to exit the courtroom to allow the attorney, who had made a bail application, to provide sensitive details about the assault.

In bid to have the accused bail application denied, the investigating officer told the court that she was a “frequent traveller.”

Before being asked to leave the courtroom, OBSERVER ONLINE learnt that a medical report concerning the assault was presented to the judge. Although the media was not privy to the argument the woman’s attorney made on her behalf for bail application (because a part of the attorney’s argument supposedly entailed the assault) it was understood that the bail application was initially denied, but she was then granted bail as there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the prison she was to be held.

“I’m offering you bail [in the sum of] $500,000 with one or two sureties, that means up to two persons can come together to bail you. Your passport will be surrendered to the court’s office,” Judge Crooks said.

The judge advised the woman that a psychiatric evaluation was ordered for her, she is to report to the nearest police station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, anytime between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, and she is bound-over to return to court on September 14.

Candice Haughton

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