Ricardo Stewart leaving the Supreme Court after he was sentenced to 15 years in prision. *Photo by Simon Jones
Ricardo Stewart leaving the Supreme Court after he was sentenced to 15 years in prision. *Photo by Simon Jones
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 9: The mastermind of an operation to smuggle cocaine into Bermuda on a cruise ship has been jailed for 15 years.

Ricardo Stewart was at the heart of the smuggling ring that was blown open last June when a huge stash of the drug was found hidden on board the Explorer of the Seas as she sailed towards the island.
 
The 32-year-old waiter was arrested after police searched the vessel and found $4,900 in cash hidden at the bottom of a washing detergent box in his cabin.
 
CCTV on board showed another cruise employee, Adrian Morris, moving the bag of drugs around the ship.
 
The bag contained nearly 4kg of cocaine with a street value of $735,000.
 
Morris, who comes from Jamaica, was quizzed about his involvement in the plot and confessed to moving the drugs.
 
But he told officers that Stewart was in charge of the smuggling operation and had offered him money to become involved.
 
Stewart denied being part of the drugs ring throughout and went on trial earlier this year.

Morris took the stand against his ex-colleague and told the jury that it was Stewart who masterminded the operation.
 
Stewart was found guilty of conspiracy to import drugs at the end of the trial.
 
Today at Supreme Court the Jamaican national was jailed for 15 years by Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons.
 
Morris had previously been jailed for six years after admitting his involvement at Magistrate’s Court.
 
But this morning Stewart continued to deny any involvement in the drugs operation and told the court: “I have been set up. I am innocent.
 
“I have never tried to break the law.
 
“These guys don’t like me for some reason.”
 
His lawyer Marc Daniels told the court his client would appeal the conviction.