Two U.S. nationals who attempted to bring suitcases full of cannabis into the U.K. through Heathrow airport have been handed jail sentences.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers opened an investigation into Pennsylvania-born construction worker Massa Momolu Talery, aged 32, after he was stopped at the airport’s Terminal 3 on February 4. He initially told border officers he was in the U.K. for a two-week holiday, but packages containing 20 kilos of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of almost $500,000 were found in his bags. In interviews with NCA investigators he claimed he did it to pay off debts. Talery admitted the importation of class B drugs, and on March 9 a judge at Isleworth Crown Court gave him an eight month jail sentence.
The following day, a judge at the same court gave Gerard Jean-Leger, 26, from Massachusetts a ten month sentence for the same offense. He was caught on the January 19 as he attempted to smuggle 27 kilos of cannabis into the U.K. on a flight from Los Angeles. Once again the drugs were packed into suitcases he had checked in for the flight.
NCA Heathrow Branch Commander Andy Noyes: “Organized crime gangs need couriers like Talery and Jean-Leger to bring their illicit substances into the U.K. Couriers are often recruited with promises of payment or free holidays. But in reality these attempts just end in jail sentences. I’d urge anyone considering smuggling cannabis into the U.K., whether from the U.S. or elsewhere, to think twice. It isn’t worth the risk.”
More than 25 U.S. nationals have now been arrested at U.K. airports since the start of 2023, with eight convicted and sentenced to prison terms.
Stupid is as stupid does..