US-born Guyanese resident faces cocaine smuggling charges

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A United States (US) citizen who lives in Guyana was arrested at the John F Kennedy International Airport and charged with unlawful importation of a controlled substance after admitting to smuggling 18.45 kilograms (approximately 40 pounds) of cocaine into the United States.

Zacharie Scott, 22, was arrested on January 19 following a routine secondary screening of his luggage by Customs Agents at the JFK airport upon his arrival from Guyana.

During the screening of his two suitcases, Customs officials found bags of frozen shrimp between which were blocks of a white powdery substance which tested positive for cocaine.

Scott allegedly told investigators that he had knowingly brought the packages into the US in exchange for a payment of up to US$6,000.

The cocaine is estimated to have a street value of between US$239,850 and US$479,700.

If found guilty Scott could face up to 20 years in prison.

At his arraignment in a Brooklyn Federal Court on Saturday, presiding Magistrate Judge Joseph Marutollo ordered that he be kept in custody pending a bail hearing scheduled for January 23.

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