Guernsey Press

Cheshire man tried to internally smuggle cocaine and heroin

A man from Cheshire who internally smuggled heroin and cocaine into the island to pay off debts with loan sharks will spend seven years and nine months in prison.

Jamie Sargent was found guilty on two counts of importing class A drugs. (33226663)

Jamie Sargent, 48, pictured, was identified by customs officers when he arrived on a flight from Manchester and appeared in visible discomfort, walking at an angle and struggling to stand up straight.

He appeared in the Royal Court from custody and admitted two counts of importing class A drugs.

Sargent told customs officers that he was in the island to buy a caravan.

He said he had packed his luggage himself and was not carrying anything for anyone else. He denied using drugs, but swabs of his phone, shoes and suitcase tested positive for cocaine. He then admitted he used cocaine socially when drinking.

A customs dog showed interest in the defendant’s trousers, although an initial strip search found nothing of concern. He denied carrying drugs internally.

Sargent was taken to hospital. He could lie down only on his front. A CT scan revealed a foreign body in his rectum. When the defendant was told he would remain under supervision overnight, he admitted having four packages of cocaine inside. He later passed a package eight inches in length, which was found to contain six separate units, each wrapped in condoms and cling film.

Five of the packages contained cocaine, totalling 114.32g at 83-90% purity, with an estimated street value of between £11,342 and £17,148.

The sixth package contained 40.02g of heroin, with a street value estimated between £12,006 and £24,012.

Sargent declined to comment in interview.

Advocate Amy Davies, defending Sargent, said that her client, who lived in the UK with his family, had got caught up in debt after borrowing money to pay for his son’s car. He had borrowed £2,500 but repayment had been demanded immediately.

He could not repay the loan and decided to smuggle drugs into Guernsey after threats were made to hurt his family.

Sargent said that he understood he was importing cocaine, but the heroin was a surprise. He said he would not have smuggled heroin by choice having experienced its dangers while previously addicted.

Advocate Davies reminded the court that Sargent had admitted to the offence before passing the drugs and was extremely remorseful. He was part of a drug operation but was the lowest rung of the ladder.

He could not provide information about the intended recipient of the drugs in Guernsey because he did not know, and he refused to provide information about the UK group due to fears of his family being harmed.

Sargent chose not to make a bail application so he could begin his jail sentence from the time he entered remand.

Judge Catherine Fooks noted the defendant’s undesirable past record of dishonesty and driving offences.

‘This type of concealment is very unpleasant work for those involved and a drain on customs and hospital resources,’ she said.

She added that Sargent was highly likely to reoffend.

The defendant was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison for importing cocaine, and six years and six months for the importation of heroin, to be served concurrently.

The court approved the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

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