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Czech heroin smuggler jailed for 30 years


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HAMILTON, Bermuda, Mar 14, CMC – A citizen of Czechoslovakia who caught attempting to smuggle nearly US$10 million of heroin into Bermuda has been jailed for 30 years by a Supreme Court judge.

It marked the biggest quantity of heroin ever imported to the island that went to trial, the court heard.

Josef Vlcek, 49, was unanimously convicted by a jury earlier this week when he appeared before Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves on Wednesday, with prosecutor Nicole Smith representing the Crown.

Smith cited the destructive impact of heroin and told the court that the narcotics trade was tempting “defendants from jurisdictions afar”.

Vlcek was caught at the L.F. Wade International Airport with almost three kilograms of heroin hidden in his luggage.

Susan Mulligan, for the defence, argued against calculating a higher sentence on the sole basis of the amount or the type of drug. She pointed out that heroin and cocaine were in the same category under the law.

But Mr Justice Greaves said that he had presided over drug treatment court and added: “Heroin addicts are the hardest to rehabilitate.”

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