Briton jailed 15 years in US over N. Korea drugs

3rd June 2016, Comments 0 comments

A British man was sentenced to 15 years in a US prison on Friday for conspiring to import 100 kilos (220 pounds) of North Korean methamphetamines into the United States.

Scott Stammers, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in August 2015, will be deported after serving his 181-month sentence.

Dressed in khaki pants and an olive top, Stammers declined an opportunity to address the New York court.

"No. I'm fine, thank you very much sir," he told US Federal Judge Andrew Carter.

Stammers had faced a sentence of up to 30 years, but the judge cited mitigating factors that included the fact that he has two children and was held in harsh conditions in Thailand before being extradited.

He said the defendant's "somewhat difficult upbringing" was another reason, as was his past use of alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine, which "may have contributed to his involvement in this offense."

"Mr Stammers I wish you the best of luck. I hope you can get your life back on track," said Carter, expressing hope that the defendant can be the father that "your children need you to be."

He was one of five defendants arrested in Thailand in September 2013 on suspicion of preparing to ship the drugs by boat.

Two of his co-defendants belonged to a criminal gang, which claimed to have stockpiled a ton of North Korean methamphetamines in the Philippines for storage, according to US court documents.

Stammers lived in the Philippines prior to his arrest and was involved in operational details of criminal activity in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, US prosecutors said.

Court documents described him as a poor student and said he got first job in private security at 18.

Within a year he was stabbed on the job, but went onto make "a good living" handling security matters across Southeast Asia, according to court filings.

Despite difficulties at school, he developed a working knowledge of Tagalog, spoken in the Philippines, Thai and Cantonese, they added.

© 2016 AFP

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