PERU DRUG SMUGGLERS SENTENCED TO JUST 6 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS – Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly stepped out from a police vehicle in handcuffs and entered the court in Lima to finally face sentencing for the crime of attempting to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine through Lima Airport in August.
Within less than 20 minutes, both Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly stepped out of the court room under armed guard and in handcuffs, after the judge handed down a sentence of just 6 years and 8 months; a sentence that many feel goes beyond any type of sensible leniency.
Image Above – Left: Melissa Reid | Right: Michaella McCollum Connolly – Peru Drugs Smugglers
On advice from their lawyers, Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly both pleaded guilty last month to the charge of attempting to smuggle a large quantity of cocaine, weighing 24lbs with a street value of £1.5 million, from Peru to Spain.
Their decision to plead guilty was despite their on-going claims that they were ordered to smuggle drugs under duress from a criminal drug gang in Spain who allegedly threatened their lives and the lives of their family; a claim that has never been substantiated.
Many suspected that the Peruvian court would not show much leniency in their case and that it was likely a prison term of some 15 years would be handed down to both girls.
However the presiding judge, Judge Pedro Miguel Puente Bardales noted that both Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly had pleaded guilty to the charge and gave information about the gang that allegedly supplied the drugs; Peruvian authorities are still probing their claims.
Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly future now looks somewhat better as it is likely they could both be released within just two and a half years for good behaviour and taking into account time already served; this could result in the girls being released in early 2016.
It is now expected that their lawyers will file a petition in order to allow the girls to serve out their prison term in the UK in order to be closer to their friends and family; however with the Peruvian system being what it is, the bureaucratic hurdles could take longer than their actual prison term.
Yet again we have seen drug smugglers effectively getting away with their crime. We at meebal.com cannot in all good conscious support such a sentence for it sends the wrong message to any would-be drugs smuggler; that by simply pleading guilty will allow them to get off without any notable consequences.
Our views are that these types of cases reflect only on the criminals in order to garner public sympathy. However, the real tragedies are the families who live with family members who are drug addicts due to the likes of Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly plying their trade.
It is widely accepted that society needs to stamp out the illicit trade of narcotics smuggling and supply and the only way to achieve such is to make the punishment fitting for the crime, and in the case of drugs smuggler we continue to support the use of the death penalty for this might not be a deterrent to the crime but it certainly is the ultimate preventative measure to ensuring that those who smuggle drugs are never permitted to engage in such an act again.