Another Guyanese confesses to drug trafficking in New York.
Guyanese businessman and former race car driver Peter Morgan this afternoon June 8 2009 entered a guilty plea in the Brooklyn federal courthouse for a conspiracy charge to import 5 or more kilos of cocaine into the United States from Guyana. Morgan stood silent before senior District Judge Korman as the judge explained to him the implications of his plea.
The judge told Morgan that by pleading guilty he has given up all rights to a trial and all rights to an appeal. He was also told in detail that he does not need to plead guilty even if he is guilty since the US justice system allows him a fair trial. Morgan told the court that he understood what he was doing. He was doing so with a sound mind and without being threatened.
The judge then explained to him that for the charge of conspiracy to import cocaine he faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life. However by entering a guilty plea, his minimum sentence could change according to the Federal sentencing guidelines.
Again Morgan told the court that he fully understood what he was doing. His attorney Allan Futerfas explained to the court that the plea deal was drawn up last week and Morgan and he went over the deal on a number of occasions.
After being satisfied that the defendant was aware of what he was doing and competent to make the decision, the judge asked Morgan to explain exactly what he did.
Peter Morgan told the court that between December 2001 and August 2008, he conspired with one David Narine (another Guyanese) to get cocaine in and out of Guyana he told the court that he was fully aware of his actions and his conduct. He said he agreed with Narine to import cocaine into the US. The 42 year old gave precise answers throughout the questioning by the judge.
Judge Korman accepted his plea and a sentencing date will be announced soon. Peter Morgan had no relatives or friends in the courtroom during his appearance. His sister Sabrina Morgan Budhram and her husband Arnold Budhram both are serving time for money laundering and narcotics related offences in the U S. They both entered guilty pleas in the same courthouse.
Just over two years ago, Morgan was arrested and extradited from Trinidad and Tobago to face narcotics trafficking charges in the US. He was one of three Guyanese held in Trinidad and Tobago for narcotics charges who ended up facing American Justice in the last three years. Just a few months ago the first person sent from Trinidad Guyanese Shaheed Roger Khan also entered a guilty plea.
In all of the drug busts and convictions overseas, no one in Guyana has ever been convicted in connection with any of these cases over the last decade and a half.