Foreign national hit with cocaine charges

March 22, 2023

The bail hearing for a Latvian software service representative and a security guard employed at one of the island's airports was adjourned until Thursday, after Senior Parish Judge Paula Blake-Powell requested that the addresses of the accused be verified.

The accused, Rihards Upenieks, 30, and Terica Millwood are both charged on an indictment for conspiracy to export cocaine. Upenieks is charged with possession of, dealing in and attempting to export cocaine. However, the allegations were not outlined by the Crown in open court.

King's Counsel Peter Champagnie, in a part-heard bail application on Tuesday, beseeched the senior jurist to consider bail for Upenieks, who does not reside in Jamaica and is not viewed as a flight risk. He submitted to the court that Upenieks' wife was present in court, having left their home in the Texas, USA, and has rented a property locally, where her husband can reside for the purpose of the case. He added that should conditions be imposed, his client would report to the Matilda's Corner Police Station or the Narcotics Police Headquarters daily.

Champagnie outlined that on the Crown's case, his client was at the Norman Manley International Airport, and was observed making a purchase at an in-bound shop.

He shared further that his client was subsequently asked for a search by the police and complied. He said that when the drugs were found and Upenieks was informed of the breach and cautioned, the accused man said that "they must have given me the wrong package" and "I only see these kinds of things in a movie".

The weight of the substance is said to be 4.4 kilograms with an estimated street value of US$3,800. Alexander Shaw, attorney-at-law for Millwood, asked that his client be considered for bail, as she is a mother of two children who are now separated because of her detention.

Judge Blake-Powell adjourned for the investigators to verify the addresses of the accused and requested the attendance of the Latvian consulate. Upenieks and Millwood were remanded.

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