Coke dealer gets 8 years

| 14/03/2013

(CNS): A 29-year old man who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs was given an eight year prison sentence on Wednesday. Camilo Naranjo, was charged after being caught upin a police sting with co-defendant Osman Joel Bonilla, who was convicted last year. Naranjo, who was said to be higher up the drug dealing chain, eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell 3 kilos of cocaine for $54,000 to people he believed were businessmen from the UK but who turned out to be undercover cops. Given his late guilty plea, his position in the local drugs business and faced with a maximum of ten years, the judge said he felt eight years was an appropriate sentence as he raised concerns about the ease with which Naranjo and his co-defendant were able to obtain drugs.

Justice Charles Quin, the presiding judge, commended the police on the operation and said the information they were able to unearth verified that both Naranjo and Bonilla were deeply involved in the cocaine trade in the Cayman Islands. “The ease with which they obtained and sold it to the undercover officers is very disturbing,” Justice Quin said as he delivered his sentencing judgment.

He described how Bonilla had consistently supplied the undercover officers with cocaine during the operation, which was set up to address what was believed to be the dealing of drugs in local bars and clubs. As the amounts the under cover officers were asking for grew, it was a Naranjo who was introduced to them as the direct contact for the drugs.

Although the defendant never actually handed over the 3 kilos of cocaine, as the sting operation was busted before the undercover cops were able to get the drugs, the evidence collected through covert recordings of meetings with the dealers and the officers revealed that at relatively short notice Naranjo was able to obtain large amounts of cocaine.

“The defendants were responsible for what appears to be a developed and established illegal cocaine trafficking operation and it is my view that their criminal activity in the retail and distribution of cocaine merits a sentence at the top end of the scale,” Justice Quin added.

Naranjo, who the court heard was born in Cayman, had claimed that he was not involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine but to steal the money and he had made up the fact that he could get his hands on large amounts of drugs. However, the judge rejected that claim as he said it was apparent he had intimate knowledge of illegal drug trafficking and his claims were far more than mere bravado.

“In view of the number of cocaine transactions which took place over a relatively short space of time and the fact that Naranjo provided a sample which was 86.1% pure, I reject the assertion that he never really intended to sell the large quantity,” the judge said.

Justice Quin said that there were very few mitigating features but many aggravating ones in the case as he explained the reasoning behind the sentence that he handed down. He noted how Naranjo had left it very late in the day to enter his guilty plea so the discount on the sentence was minimal.

He noted the court’s ability to take judicial notice of the evidence in recent years that cocaine trafficking and other illegal drugs in Cayman has led to an increase in violent crime and the serious social breakdown in the lives of many young people and their families.

He said the sentence he could deliver was limited by Cayman’s maximum penalty of ten years.

“The court can only sentence within the current intentions of the legislators as expressed in the legislation of the Cayman Islands. In light of the prevalence of illegal drugs and the well documented evidence of the damage and harm caused by illegal drugs, the legislators may wish to consider whether the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment truly reflects the gravity of such offences,” he said.

Based on the sentence that had been handed down to Naranjo’s co-defendant, Bonilla, who had previous convictions for supplying cocaine, the judge noted that while Naranjo had less serious convictions relating to drugs, the evidence uncovered by the police officers showed that Bonilla had acted under Naranjo’s directions.

Justice Quin said Naranjo remained in the background and only “emerged from the shadows” when the cocaine to be purchased increased to much larger quantities. He had also unwittingly provided the undercover officers with his intimate and detailed knowledge trafficking contraband extra-territorially.

“I find the defendant, Naranjo, played a leading role in directing and organising the sale of cocaine and was therefore closer to the original source. The evidence discloses that he was further up the chain than Bonilla,” the judge said. He noted that, as a result, the court could not impose a lesser sentence on Naranjo than that which had been imposed on Bonilla, as he told the defendant he was to serve eight years in prison with time spent in custody to be taken into consideration.

Naranjo has served more than two years in relation to this offence, having been arrested in November 2010 and remanded in custody since then.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How prejudicial is this ruling.  When William Shultz the one who stole $290,000+ to supply his coke habit.  He was a dealer and he gets three years.  What a prejudicial ruling.  There is no way he could have used that much cocaine in a matter of 15 months unless he was also dealing, or supplying it to his friends and associates.  

    Hope you all see how bias our Judicial system is!

  2. celly says:

    Free bonilla n naranjo! Keep your heads up, half of society was built from cocaine money so talk all you want its your choice to use. They will be free in about 4 yearss anyway

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great – but tell me:

    When is the CID +Drugs squads going to show up in my section for the nightly crimes whiuch are degrading our community?

    I called 3 times and was tol d that they only work day shifts.

    For Real??
    With all these burglaries + drug sales going on??

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any chance of keeping the cops here? They seem to have got more results with just a couple of cops than we have seen before.

  5. Anonymous says:

    86.1% pure?  We are sitting on tourist gold with that stuff.  Legalise and tax so the tourists can come flocking.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now just imagine – for dealing coke you get 8 years, for drunk driving and killing someone you get 15 months… does that make sense?

    Either way, I am more than happy that we have another criminal off the street.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Stick a 1 in front of the 8 and I'd feel a lot better, your honour.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would have liked to have heard exactly what was regarded as "large quantities" in this case.

    Otherwise it comes across as somewhat vague, especially as the defendant was convicted on an unrealized intention and capability to supply 3 kilos of the white stuff.

    In any event, there are now dozens of pissed off and frustrated rich daddy's-girls (not to mention the medical students) in the condos along West Bay Road.

    "Like seriously … where are we gonna find some good blow now?! Like … oh my God … this is such a turn-off!"

    Many readers would be shocked to learn what really goes on in this island … s-h-o-c-k-e-d!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article, it's in there…3 kilograms.  That's quite a lot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually poster, I suggest you read the article once more.

        You have actually illustrated the point I was making by your mistaken belief that the convicted actually provided 3 kilograms of cocaine for sale.

        He did not.

        He was convicted on the basis of him saying that he could supply 3 kgs of cocaine and agreeing to do so.

        Big difference.

        * Not that I am in support of drug dealers, but as a point of law, I strongly suggest for him to appeal this conviction. I shall refrain from saying much more for obvious reasons.

        • Anonymous says:

          Appeal on what grounds?

          They were convicted of 'conspiracy'. They conspired with the undercover cops to supply three kilograms of cocaine. Job done. Guilty as charged. Take him down.

          To be guilty of conspiracy you do not need to carry out the full offence.

    • The watchers says:

      You know what really goes on in these islands?

      I would suggest that you make contact with these undercover cops before they make contact with you.

      Acquiescence with the status quo makes you just as guilty as the perpertrators. It also makes you pretty ignorant too.

      So … put your money where your mouth is, or just don't comment.

  9. Anonymous says:

    eight years is far too long, when killer drunk driers get two to three years at maximum

  10. Anonymous says:

    Out in time to run in Georgetown in 2021

    • Anonymous says:

      My mistake. After looking at another article about candidates and qualifications, likely as his sentence exceeds 12 months he could not run. 

      It says anyone whose sentence does not exceed 12 months can run. Unless the crime you commited involved dishonesty. Not sure if dealing drugs is dishonest.


  11. Anonymous says:

    another wannabe doing time while the real culprits are laughing all the way to the bank.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good work RCIP and Prosecution.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Justice Quinn wants to question the maximum of 10 years and suggests a review so that it could possibly be increased (which I agree with), why not impose the maximum allowable in this case? 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well done, this is the sort of thing and it looks as if the Po Po have finally moved up a level!

  14. Anonymous says:

    good get them off the streets for awhile

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, the dealers are sometimes able to continue their chosen profession of drug dealing from jail – you can believe they will still have their agents on the streets. I agree with the poster who asked ifthe police ever try to get more information on the big guys.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does the Court ever request or demand more info. regarding the sourcees of the drugs and other known ringleaders in this trade or are they just content to catch one or two and have no desire to try to help wipe out this scourge on our island by making this trade more difficult and less productive?   

    • Anonymous says:

      Not that your question isn’t reasonable but courts try the person not interrogate nor investigate that part is up to the police and our police know who the bigger fish are the question is do they have the guts to go after them and does the Crown have the guts to bring them to trial so far the answer is no but we continue to hope it is because they want to build iron clad cases that can’t get tossed out on tainted evidence, lack of witnesses willing to testify (which is probably the true reason too many pillars of the community involved and no one willing to throw the stones as too many have glass houses) so RCIPS you have had years to make cases when will we see the big players in court?

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is good news, not the first time he has ended up in court!

    • Anonymous says:

      Same thing with Osman Bonilla !! He's been in Northward at least 3 times before this last conviction and each time with an increasingly longer sentence. But none of those past sentences deterred him from continuing to deal in the bars and nightclubs along 7 Mile Beach.  What will stop him when he gets out this time. Not a thing. Drug money too easy. And I bet he goes back in again because these guys just never learn their lesson!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bring in the finger printing system and those guys won’t make it out immigration at the airport!


    • Anonymous says:

      They are not expats.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, but if immigration had done its job earlier and revoked status when it could have, Bonillo likely would be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone know if the requirements for obtaining a British passport by Caymanians has changed? Because when last I read the requirements a few years ago, NO police clearance was required for a British passport when applied for by Caymanians.

      This means that while Caymanians who have Caymanian passports most likely wont be able to get a US visa and definitely NOT a visa waiver to go the US, they can STILL apply for a British passport once they get out of prison and yes they can leave Cayman.

      I wonder if the requirements have changed since then. Thanks.

      • Anonymous says:

        Police clearance is of course part of requirements, so no, they can't do what you suggest.  Nice try though.  

        • Anonymous says:

          sorry, but although the report may be a requirement, convictions are not a ground for denying a citizen a passport so wrong again bobo.

      • Anonymous says:

        While I don’t see the relation to this comment and the article, Is there something wrong with former prisoners being able to travel? Many are imprisoned for non-violent crimes and many have served their time and many, many years have passed. That doesn’t mean that their life has to end. Some people feel like they can no longer live a decent life in Cayman after serving time so if they want to leave, who cares? The way I see it is that we have way more ‘criminals’ walking free among us that prisoners in Northward. Those same people are free to travel as they wish and also seem to be the ones to rob their employers blind after they are hired and never get caught. They too are free to travel as they like; whether by Visa, US Visa Waiver, British Passport or boat…

    • Anonymous says:

      Bonillo is a Caymanian, Bobo. Adopted by a born Caymanian woman who married a Honduranian man. Don't know about the other one.

    • Anonymous says:

      You idiot it was Caymanians involved and it is Caymanians higher up the drug food chain yet to be busted and it is a goodly number of Caymanians who are using the drugs so how is fingerprinting at the airport going to make a difference? Or have I misunderstood your implication that only ex-pats are involved and if we finger print we will get an immediate criminal history and able to turn them away….

      Head shaking Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      Who? The undercover  UK cops on their way back?

      Home grown problem born here and will serve his time here!

    • Anonymous says:

      You Idiot. Don't you realise, it took expats to catch these two local drug dealers and convict them!

      So what do we do …. finger print the under cover cops and kick them off the island?

      At least show some gratitude!

    • Anonymous says:

      So a CAYMANIAN is someone who makes things up to put down "others" and then belives it himself?  WOW!  That explains a lot.