2 found guilty of trafficking cocaine in diplomatic pouches

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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TWO men have been found guilty of trafficking cocaine in diplomatic pouches almost two decades ago.

Micah Smith and Kurt Alexis were found guilty on Thursday by a Port of Spain jury.

Smith was found guilty of two counts of trafficking cocaine and Alexis was found guilty of one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

At the start of their trial, they were discharged on a count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine after the prosecution offered no evidence. A third man was also discharged of the charge of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.

Smith and Alexis have been remanded into custody until their sentencing on November 9.

It was the prosecution’s case that Smith, on or about May 5 and 6, 2004, trafficked cocaine. At the time, he was said to be an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sent several envelopes through a diplomatic pouch to the New York consulate and the Toronto High Commission between March 2004 and May 2004. He also sent seven envelopes to someone at the London High Commission between December 2003 and March 2004.

The evidence in relation to the charges was that he sent an envelope to the New York consulate on May 3, 2004, with a telephone directory. The envelope contained a telephone directory with a hollowed-out centre containing cocaine.

On May 5, 2004, he sent an envelope to Toronto which contained cocaine.

The evidence against Alexis, who also worked at the ministry, was that he sent an envelope containign cocaine to London in a diplomatic pouch on January 9, 2004.

Smith had made previous applications to have his indictment quashed and for his case to be heard separately.

However, Justice Gail Gonzales, who presided over the application to sever and the trial, at the time, said she did not believe he would be unduly prejudiced if his case were tried with his co-accused.

Smith was represented by public defenders Delicia Helwig-Robertson and Ayanna Norville. Alexis was represented by attorney Colin Selvon. State attorney Maria Lyons-Edwards represented the State.