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Jail for young mother who imported more than 1.5 kilos of cocaine into Ireland

Hyonaru Moreno received a sentence of two and a half years.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A YOUNG MOTHER who imported more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine into the country inside her body has been jailed for two and a half years.

Hyonaru Moreno, from Brazil, was a “naive mule” who read a prepared statement to customs officers about her planned stay in Ireland upon her arrival at Dublin airport earlier this year, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today. 

Her suspicious behaviour at the airport led to gardaí being called. She then spent the next two days in Beaumont Hospital where she passed packages containing €37,000 worth of cocaine.

Some drugs were also retrieved from her vagina, the court heard.

Moreno (26) with an address in Sao Paulo, Brazil, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cocaine for sale or supply and one count of importing cocaine at Dublin airport on 8 June this year. She has no previous convictions.

Handing down sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said Moreno was engaged in a “desperate escapade” for financial reward. He said it was the second such case he had dealt with this week.

“Unless a person was desperate, they wouldn’t inflict this on themselves,” he said. He noted Moreno has two sons back in Brazil whom she misses deeply and that as a foreign national with limited English, her time in prison will be particularly hard.

“I’m aware that this is a crime of desperation, but she made that decision and she must be punished for what she did,” the judge said, adding: “These are sad cases.”

He backdated the sentence to June, when Moreno went into custody.

Garda Grace Daly told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that Moreno was stopped by customs officers who were carrying out profiles of suspicious persons coming from Brazil.

When Moreno started reading off answers about her planned stay in Ireland from a prepared document, the customs officers’ suspicions were roused and gardaí were called.

When taken to hospital, an X-ray showed Moreno had a number of foreign objects in her body. When interviewed by gardaí, she exercised her right to silence.

Barry White SC, defending, said his client was “conned” into coming to Ireland. He said she was only told she had to bring drugs to the country in the “last couple of hours” before boarding the flight.

He said Moreno is a single mother of two sons, aged ten and eight. She was 16 years old when she had her first child. Moreno’s own mother was married at the age of 11 and gave birth to her first child when she was just 13 years old.

“You have before you a naive mule,” White told the court.

She is somebody who regrets what she did and is anxious to take whatever punishment the court sees fit but she is also anxious to get back to her two children.

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Isabel Hayes

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