St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance adjourned the trial of Customs officer Alexander Maximilliano Ernesto L. yesterday until February 25 to give the defense the opportunity to present documentation to substantiate the defendant’s medical condition.
L. is a suspect in the January 30, 2014 transport of 268 kilos of cocaine into St. Maarten on an Insel Air flight from Curacao. Earlier this month, L.’s colleague Nestor Sanchez was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for the same drugs transport.
The prosecution charges L. with the transport of 268 kilos of cocaine, membership of a criminal organization and possession of an alarm pistol.
The 39-year-old defendant denied all charges, including the possession of the gun. “It always was at the office of the Customs Department in Philipsburg,” he told the court. “When we moved furniture to the airport, the weapon went along, with the purpose to give it to the Coast Guard for safekeeping. I forgot about it.”
The weapon was in L.’s locker at the airport for at least a year he said.
The drug smuggling investigation started with a lead letter from the American Drug Enforcement Administration DEA. That resulted in heightened security at the Princess Juliana International Airport on January 30, 214. On that flight, investigators found ten boxes, containing 144 bags with a white powder that turned out to be cocaine. The total net weight of the drugs was 268 kilos and 145 grams.