Bermuda prosecutor seeks steeper penalty against German drug smuggler

A German convicted of smuggling cannabis resin and cocaine into Bermuda deserves a prison term of up to 12 years, a prosecutor told an appeals court.

Jamie Edward Cox, of Altenkessel, Germany, was sentenced last December to four years in prison after a jury convicted him of smuggling the drugs into the British island territory. He was acquitted of two other charges of possession with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Graveney Bannister asked the three-judge appeals panel for a 10-12 year prison sentence on Monday, saying the shorter term was "manifestly inadequate."

Police stopped Cox, now 28, at Bermuda International Airport in July 2003. They discovered that he had ingested 66 pellets containing a combination of cocaine, crack cocaine and cannabis resin, with an estimated street value of US$125,750 (Ђ107,500).

Cox claimed at trial that a gang of men forced him to swallow the drugs at gunpoint while he was in Jamaica visiting his sick daughter. He was in transit to Britain when authorities stopped him in Bermuda, the AP reports.

Cox was due to be released from prison and deported within the next four months, having served nearly two-thirds of his sentence including time in custody after his arrest. It wasn't clear when the judges would render their decision.


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