Two S. American Men Jailed, Fined for Landing Drug Laden Plane in Guyana

Mateus Vinicius Pontes Alberto, 23 and 43-year-old Colombia national Canon Dandres Estiven Rodrigues
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A court in Guyana has jailed two foreigners, who last Sunday illegally landed a white Cessna skyline single-engine airplane laden with cocaine and marijuana at Mahdia Airstrip, Region Eight.

Brazilian, Mateus Vinicius Pontes Alberto, 23 and 43-year-old Colombian Canon Dandres Estiven Rodrigues, were fined in excess of GUY$435 million (one Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) each and jailed for four years, six months after they were found guilty of possessing 639.9 pounds of cocaine, and 120.45 pounds of marijuana found in the aircraft.

Police said the aircraft, with registration number #N5470z, is suspected to have come from Venezuela.

A police statement said the men appeared in court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to all the charges that were laid before them.

In addition to the drug trafficking charges, the duo also pleaded guilty to a number of other charges.

The men admitted to trafficking 54.6 kg of cannabis and were fined GUY$49,171,680 and sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment. They also pleaded guilty to operating a civil aircraft without an airworthiness certificate and were each fined GUY$2,000,000 and sentenced to one year each imprisonment.

Additionally, they were charged and pled guilty to interference with an aircraft and were fined GUY$2,000,000 and jailed for one year each. They also admitted to operating an aircraft without insurance and were fined GUY$3,000,000 and fined one-year imprisonment each.

The men also admitted to having false or misleading aircraft marking and were both fined GUY$2,000,000 and jailed for one year each. The sentences will run concurrently.

CMC/

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