Puga '83




Marco Tulio PUGA arrest 1983

The true identity of the above is dealt with under 'Puga Intel' and 'Alias'.  The facts of the case, as recorded in the Court of appeal are as follows:



REX OSBORNE (Police Officer) Appellant




The respondent and a woman named Doris Stella Quintero were jointly charged with the following offences:-

(1) Importation of a controlled drug contrary to Section 4(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972;

(2) Handling a controlled drug which was intended for supply in contravention of Section 5(1) of the Act, and contrary to section 7(1) of the Act; and

(3) Possession of a controlled drug which was intended for supply contrary to Sections 5(1) and 6(3) of the Act.

The respondent was convicted on all three charges and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on each charge. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently with one another. Quintero was acquitted.

The respondent and Quintero traveled together from Miami to Nassau on 8th October 1983. On 9th October they boarded a plane at Nassau and traveled to Bermuda. At Nassau they checked in four pieces of luggage. A luggage tag was attached to each item and the counterparts of the tags were attached to Quintero's ticket. The tags bore consecutive numbers -BA 498758, BA 498759, BA 498760, and BA 498761.

At Bermuda a skycap named Smith assisted the respondent and his companion with the luggage. He conveyed various pieces to the Customs desk; but the respondent wheeled one piece, a Samsonite case, himself. At the desk he was asked by D/C Whyllie if all the various pieces belonged to them and he answered ‘yes’. With the assistance of the respondent and Quintero, all the luggage was taken into the search room. Whyllie noticed that the Samsonite case had no name tag on it. The respondent was asked if he had drugs in his luggage and he replied: "No, sir". The Samsonite case was locked and Whyllie asked: "Where is the key to this suitcase?" Whereupon the respondent put his hands in his trouser and jacket pockets and then replied: "I don't have it, I don't know where it is." Whyllie then opened the door to the adjoining room where Quintero was and he asked he: "Do you have the key to this suitcase?" Before Quintero could reply, the respondent said: "That suitcase

isn't mine, I don't know anything about it. I never saw it in my life." That was the first time he denied that the Samsonite case was part of his luggage.

The case was opened. In it there were 3 bags of vegetable material. The Government chemist subsequently testified that the material was cannabis and that it weighed 36lbs. There was evidence that the retail value of 361bs. of this drug in Bermuda would be approximately $9O,000.

The respondent and his companion were searched and their airline tickets were seized. Three luggage tags (498759, 498760, and 498761) were on Quintero '5 ticket; but one of the four tags which was attached to this ticket at Nassau was missing. Tag No. 498758 was still on the Samsonite case.

Among the respondent's belongings there was an identity card and a Florida driver's licence. On each document there was an address which did not exist - 900 Briny Avenue, Pompano. The respondent obtained this identity card on5th October, 1983, 3 days before leaving Florida; and he obtained the driver's licence on 7th October, one day before leaving.

He gave evidence at his trial and in answer to a question in cross-examination, he said that he had never been to Bermuda before. Two witnesses called by the prosecution gave contrary evidence. A Mr. Silverstand said that in May 1983 he had lunch with the respondent and 2 ladies at the Lobster Pot Restaurant. He knew him then as "Victor". A Mr. Proctor, General Manager of the Palmetto Hotel, said that the respondent, who registered under the name Victor Martin, stayed at the hotel from 5th May to 27 June, 1983.

The learned judge's note of Mr. Hector's address in mitigation reads in part:-

"Client is 22 years of age, lives with mother, single man, no convictions .........He has been in custody since arrest 10/10/83. Young student, foreigner - any incarceration will bear more hardly as he will be in a foreign land. Ask for lenience - have regard to age: to enable him to return to normal living."

The appellant himself said -

"I want to continue my studies at University of Houston".

The learned judge's note of what he said to the respondent before passing sentence reads as follows:

"Serious offences- very prevalent here. Take account of fact the drug is a soft one. Your apparently clean record, youth and fact you will not be eligible for release on licence."





To e-mail click here:


to visit www.bermudapolice.com click here



IMPORTANT NOTICE: Bermuda.org.uk has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. Bermuda.org.uk is not an official or authorised Bermuda police web site.