Peru Pair Plead Guilty To Drug Smuggling

Peru pair Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, who were found with 11kg of cocaine in their luggage, have pled guilty to drugs trafficking.

Peru pair Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, who were found with 11kg of cocaine in their luggage, have pled guilty to drugs trafficking.

The two 20-year-olds, who were accused of trying to smuggle £1.5m worth of cocaine out of Peru hidden in food packets in their suitcases, pled guilty at a private hearing in a makeshift courtroom at a men’s jail in Lima yesterday.

McCollum, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone and Reid, from Lenzie near Glasgow, initially claimed they were forced to carry the drugs by an armed gang which threatened the girls and their families.

The pair’s guilty plea means they will not have to stand trial on drug trafficking charges and they are likely to be sentenced to six years and eight months in jail at an upcoming hearing, as opposed to the 15 years they were facing if found guilty in a trial.

A Callao court spokesperson confirmed the guilty pleas, saying:

‘Both women have pleaded guilty to drugs trafficking.

‘It means they automatically benefit from a sixth off the minimum jail sentence of eight years and will be sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.’

It is thought both girls will be able to carry out their sentences in the UK and both Reid and McCollum have spoken out about their decision to stop protesting their innocence, with Reid telling the Daily Mail:

‘Pleading guilty is going to enable me to get back to my family in Scotland sooner rather than later.

‘I do not want to be in jail until 35 – I can’t get back those years.’

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