Sunday 22 October 2017

Courier gets 14 years following £1.5m drugs seizure

Monday 20 March 2017

Courier gets 14 years following £1.5m drugs seizure

A 51-year-old man from Dartford has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by the Royal Court after he was caught with one of the largest seizures of drugs to be brought into the Island.

Lee James Barratt was stopped on 24 September 2016 by Customs Officers shortly after getting off the ferry from Poole at the Elizabeth Terminal. They found 44 packages containing over 46 kilograms of Class A and Class B drugs in his car.

Those packages contained 18,000 MDMA tablets, 4kg of MDMA in crystal form and 37kg of cannabis resin. 

The total street value in Jersey was estimated to be between £1,143,930 and £1,579,765.

The Court heard that when questioned by the Customs Officers, Barratt denied all knowledge of the drugs and told officers he was unemployed and had come to the Island for a short holiday.

He claimed that he had picked up the vehicle with an associate that he refused to name, who had then taken the vehicle away. Apparently, someone else then told Barratt where the car was parked, and Barratt said he only saw the car the morning he traveled.

Reading the summary of facts to the Royal Court, Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said that the value Barratt was carrying "...indicated a closeness to the source of supply and a deep involvement in drug traffic."

Advocate Sarah Dale, who was defending, told the Royal Court that her client's guilty plea was of "...considerable value", adding that he had been "... extremely candid about his previous offences and his past drug use." She also added:  "Mr Barratt has considered the impact so many drugs could have had on an island like Jersey. He is glad the drugs have been seized and have not reached their final destination." 

 Reading the sentence, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq described the quantity Barratt was carrying as "...very substantial, if not unprecedented", stressing that "...couriers are an important part of the supply chain." He noted Barrat's guilty plea and the fact he had been trying to turn his life around but said that those were not sufficient elements in terms of mitigation and decided to follow the Crown's suggestions for sentencing. 

Barratt was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

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