Sascha Wilson

A 58-year-old truck driver, allegedly caught trying to export $1.6 million worth of cocaine in coffee pots, has been granted $350,000 approval bail.

Anacleto Mitchell, of Bertrand Street, San Fernando, was also granted cash bail in the sum of $75,000 when he appeared virtually before Port-of-Spain magistrate Indar Jagroo.

Mitchell was charged by Customs and Excise officer Shonnel Herbert with attempting to export prohibited goods to wit 1.24 kilogrammes of cocaine and attempting to conceal prohibited goods in a manner calculated to deceive Customs and Excise officers.

The charges stemmed from an incident on September 29 at DHL Express in El Socorro.

It is alleged that he tried to export a cardboard box containing baby clothes and two white boxes each containing a stainless steel coffee pot.

Amalgamated estate officer Ricard Heraldo became suspicious and contacted the Customs department.

The officers responded and found the cocaine allegedly concealed in the coffee pots.

Asking for bail, Mitchell’s attorney Frank Gittens said he has inflamed lungs and experiences severe asthma attacks. Apart from driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana offences from years ago, he said his client had no other encounters with the law.

He asked the magistrate to consider that prison officers were in quarantine and if there were a COVID-19 outbreak in prison his client would be vulnerable.

Customs and Excise senior state attorney Harricharan Kassie did not object to bail, but he asked the magistrate to consider the quantum of drugs and to attach conditions to his bail. Kassie also showed the exhibits to the court. The magistrate ordered Mitchell to report to the San Fernando Police station twice a week. The matter was adjourned to October 30.