A Surinam businessman who swallowed 100 pellets of cocaine to repay a debt loan to criminals has been given a seven year sentence by Judge Desmond Hogan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Marcel Roudier (aged 57), was found to be carrying the cocaine valued €90,000 after being stopped at Dublin Airport when he arrived there from Paramiraba in Surinam via Amsterdam. He pleaded guilty to having the cocaine for sale or supply on November 6, 2006 at the Airport.
Roudier told Customs and Excise officers that the female who spoke when his mobile phone rang out was his ‘daughter’ but the name he gave them for this ‘daughter’ was wrong.
Mr Remy Farrell BL, defending, told Judge Hogan that Roudier had become "something of a father figure" for young non-white prisoners while on remand in Cloverhill Prison and has made arrangements to pursue an Open University course while serving his sentence. The prison governor's report was positive on him.
Sergeant Martin Halpin told prosecuting counsel, Mr Colm O Briain BL, that Roudier carried on a business in Paramiraba buying and selling food produce. He got a €8,000 loan from criminals when his business ran into trouble and was told he could repay it by acting as a courier for them. He had no previous convictions.
Judge Hogan noted the crime carried up to life imprisonment but the legislation entitled courts to impose a lesser sentence than a possible minimum 10 year term by taking mitigating matters into consideration.
He said that the credit side for Roudier included his voluntary co-operation with gardai after being stopped by the Customs and Excise officers, his guilty plea and that he was at the lower end of the drugs ladder. he had genuine remorse.
Judge Hogan said he also had to take into consideration the seriousness of the crime and that Roudier was involved for monetary gain to try and discharge a business debt to the criminals who hired him.
"He has provided the court with an erudite, well written letter of mitigation and in the justice of the situation it would be unduly harsh to impose the 10 years minimum sentence," Judge Hogan said.
He suspended the final 12 months of the seven year sentence on condition that Roudier remain out of trouble for seven years. The sentence dates from November 6, 2006 when Roudier went into custody.
Sgt Halpin said Roudier had €500 and US $100 in his possession when arrested. He agreed to provide a urine sample which indicated the presence of cocaine and he was brought to Beaumont Hospital where he passed the 100 pellets. Judge Hogan directed the confiscation of the cocaine and the €500.