Crime & Courts

Jamaican pleads guilty in Charlotte airport drug case

A Jamaican faces up to 20 years in federal prison after admitting he brought cocaine in luggage to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Winston Sherif Richards, 40, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charlotte Monday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Richards was arrested at the airport in October after he came off a direct flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

When U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents opened Richards’ luggage, they found two bags of of cocaine hidden in the lining of a backpack, according to court records. The cocaine was worth about $100,000, records show.

Richards told federal agents a man hired him to bring some “stuff” to the United States and deliver it to a man in New York, according to court records.

Richards faces deportation proceedings once he completes his sentence, prosecutors said. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled. He also faces a $1 million fine.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak