Well, no, he didn’t really, did he?

A man who smuggled £300,000 worth of cocaine through Gatwick Airport in a secret compartment in a suitcase has been jailed for six years.

Hudson Kenuet Rohan Prescod, from the Caribbean island of St Vincent, was stopped by Border Force officers last month, after arriving on a flight from St Lucia.

A sharp probe inserted into the base of a suitcase revealed a white paste substance, which later tested positive for cocaine.

More than 2kg of cocaine were found to be concealed within the false bottom of the suitcase.

It would be rather truer to say that A man who smuggled £300,000 worth of cocaine to Gatwick Airport in a secret compartment in a suitcase has been jailed for six years.

24 thoughts on “Well, no, he didn’t really, did he?”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Oh goody! Pendantry!

    It would be truer still to say A man who attempted to smuggled £300,000 worth of cocaine through Gatwick Airport in a secret compartment in a suitcase has been jailed for six years.

    Because you can’t smuggle something without attempting to pass through customs controls.

  2. Let’s inject a little reality into this. Current street price of charlie, here, is 50€/g. London, about that in £’s. So 2000g makes 100k. Even heavily stepped on, couldn’t be streeted for over 150k.
    So, as usual for drug related journalism*, bollocks

    *Odd that, because journalists are big users.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Don’t forget the b0ll0cks with the sentence as well. There is no way he will do six years. He will automatically get it cut down to four unless he stabs someone.

  4. I’m told by a friendly pharmacist that ‘street’ cocaine is typically only 5-10% pure. He took a certain sadistic glee in describing what the other 90-95% often consisted of – this was over a few beers in the Mess – and suffice it to say you would really not want to voluntarily ingest some of that stuff (this conversation was probably a lot more effective dissuasion than the usual po-faced mandatory “drugs and alcohol awareness” we have to sit through every so often – at the worst, think of Mr Mackey from South Park).

    So 2kg of ‘fairly pure’ gets you 20kg of marketable product or about a million pounds notional value. If this guy was moving a “paste” then it’s half or more water, so divide accordingly and we get to about the right figure, with margin for error and exaggeration.

    All based on the back of a calibrated envelope with no acquaintance at all with the case, of course.

  5. @jason
    I tend to rely on our Colombian community on what it’s possible to do, adulterating coke.

  6. And, of course, there’s always the claim of the value being at end user prices. But that’s a long way down the supply chain from a smuggler. He won’t be seeing anything like street price, so 2kg successfully relocated to the short stay car park at Heathrow is very different from a 1/2g wrap passed in a club toilet.

  7. Question for you Jason – I always hear about the noxious powders these things get cut with. Did your friend says why they do it? I would have assumed that cutting with a kilo of cheap talc is better than some specialist and privet dog wormer or rat poison.

  8. @ Oblong

    I’ve heard they cut the coke with strong chemicals to boost the numb nose effect which, for a lot of users equals – “good gear this”.

    Cold medicine stuff was/is a popular choice I’ve heard.

    From the story “A sharp probe inserted into the base of a suitcase revealed a white paste substance”.

    Not heard of this before. Presumably his suitcase looked suss on the x-ray machine first. What do they look for on the scans anyway?

  9. SMFS – He’ll do no more than three years. Much of it may well be in an open prison.

    Mr in Spain – the journo’s valuation almost certainly is a parroting of the official police estimate.

  10. Quite Mr Lud. And Plod always inflate the values to make themselves look so very clever. Aren’t journalists the guys supposed to examine claims by State agencies?

  11. Oblong,

    Dan pretty much nailed it – it’s the Hollywood/TV “rub a little on your gum, the good stuff makes it go numb” type of effect they’re trying to duplicate while still using less of the active principle per dose.

    Add the fact that it’s a form of black magic (word of mouth and guesswork done by folk with no pharmaceutical knowledge) and it’s surprising you don’t see more problems…

  12. ‘He took a certain sadistic glee’

    But of course! One (albeit licensed) drug dealer belittling another drug dealer’s product.

  13. “it’s surprising you don’t see more problems” — I imagine at some point repeat business is important, and there are good incentives for not giving your customers more problems.

  14. Mr in Spain, the quality of court reporting is staggeringly bad and almost always almost entirely unreliable. They can be trusted correctly to report the verdict and occasionally to provide a reliable quote, but the journo’s, or perhaps their sub-editor’s lack curiosity or interest in their chosen field and so take no trouble to understand it, much less to pick apart or analyse anything such as rozzers’ drugs valuations.

  15. I think it only counts a smuggling when attempting to go through a checkpoint.

    After all, the cocaine could have been legal where he started up to the Gatwick checkpoint.

    So – the guy *attempted* to smuggle cocaine through Gatwick Airport in a concealed compartment.

    That doesn’t worry about whether he was smuggling it *to* Gatwick, nor whether smuggling would be required *after* Gatwick as it travels to its destination.

    But its amazing the professionalism of the main stream media – the people who used to look down on bloggers because they worked in pajamas and did not have editors.

    Don’t see what good the editors are doing here when the allow the omission of a single word that changes the meaning of the whole sentence.

  16. “bloke in spain
    May 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

    And, of course, there’s always the claim of the value being at end user prices. But that’s a long way down the supply chain from a smuggler. ”

    That’s pretty much of no concern to the police and the prosecutor. They’ll take what he’s got, do some math wizardry to figure out the maximum street price it could possibly have gotten – and there’s your press release which will be printed up with hardly any changes except for the name on the byline.

    Here in the US they’ll measure marijuana plants, including roots and any dirt on them. Packaging counts, adulterants count as product, etc.

    If its shrinkwrapped to the pallet then the pallet weight gets thrown in – whether or not this is appropriate is something the defense can sort out at trial. If you get to one as the extra weight gives a lot of leverage to force a plea bargain.

  17. A few people of my acquaintance who’ve been faced with low-level drug charges have found that the police’s inflation of street value has been mysteriously counterbalanced by the police’s deflation of the weight seized.

    Unsurprisingly, they weren’t in any mood to correct the court on this matter.

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    2 keys of coke here is worth $200,000 (~ £140,000). I’ve heard from sundry nose-candy aficionados that it’s pretty pure, too. Can cause trouble when tourists or newly arrived expats want to get nice but don’t know the strength. Crack is a buck a rock, so the limiting factor in consumption is death, not finances.

    Coke’s a fucking horrible drug that turns people into disgusting wankers. Awful, awful stuff. And crack is whack, yo. Should still be legal, of course.

  19. To continue from m’Lud, surely the journo got the value from the case, and the prosecutors are surely likely to pick the highest plausible figure, to get a conviction and sentence.

    When you think about the volume of journalism of all qualities that’s churned out, a nitpick like this doesn’t pass go. I’d only correct it in technical writing given time to do it (which we rarely have), it’s not a glaring error that’s going to confuse the message.

    Oh, and why people go to jail for coke is beyond me but I’m far too liberal I guess.

  20. Presumably his suitcase looked suss on the x-ray machine first. What do they look for on the scans anyway?

    A suitcase will be an even colour, except where the reinforcing parts cross. Add a package (unless they have been outstandingly effective and it reaches all the way to the sides) then it will show as a dark area inside the usual grey.

    Modern colour x-rays will show different types of material in different colours.

  21. BiG, the rozzers normally provide two figures, wholesale and retail. Neither has an impact on sentencing, which is done by quantity and seemed role in the drugarchy.

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