Defendant Had Gun To ‘Protect Himself’

May 31, 2012

A Latvian National alleged to have been in possession of almost $50 million worth of cocaine and a firearm had the gun for protection, the Supreme Court heard today [May 31].

29-year-old Janis Zegelis sailed to Bermuda from Trinidad arriving on July 21, 2011, and was arrested on August 1, after Customs officials searched his boat while it was docked in the St George’s area.

The court heard that Mr Zegelis planned to sail from Trinidad to Europe, and had not intended to come to Bermuda, however diverted to the island after experiencing problems with his sailboat.

He is alleged to have been in possession of 165kg [363lbs] of cocaine valued at $48 million, a 9mm Beretta, 192 rounds of ammunition and two extended magazines.

The Supreme Court heard previously heard that the cocaine alleged to have been found on the sailboat was divided into 165 plastic packages, and that Mr Zegelis confessed to a detective that he was to be paid $2 million for transporting the drugs. Defence lawyer Mark Pettingill had said the claim that the defendant confessed to the police was “strange.”

Today the jury today viewed a video of the defendant being questioned by police officers after being arrested last summer, with many of his answers being “no comment.” The defendant did say that he had the gun in his possession to protect him from pirates on the high seas.

The defendant denies the charges, and trial continues.

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Comments (14)

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  1. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Blackbeard’s brother .

  2. Snow White says:

    Well it’s not like he had the gun to sell it, otherwise he would have more. Yeah he had the coke, but it wasn’t destined for here. Otherwise it would have been off his boat the day he arrived here. He needed repairs.

    Although the 80% purity would’ve been nice compared to our 20% average, oh well, it wasn’t destined for here anyway, so why does it matter. Let ya boy go back to his country and let him chill. Why we gonna waste taxpayer money on him when he didn’t even plan on coming here to deliver the drugs.

    • Boom Bye Bye says:

      I agree. This is a complete waste o tax payer money. Send him back and let his people deal with him. It’s clear that stuff was not destined for here.

  3. will says:

    is it just me or am i the only one thinking this guy has one kick ass hairdo and beard

    oh yah, and let him on his merry way, without the drugs of course, which we should keep and dish out to addicts to prevent them from supplying dealers with money and also preventing further robberies/crimes from happening…of course that wouldnt happen as that requires some sound logic which our politicians DO NOT HAVE!!!

    • YupYup says:

      Sound logic, right!!! They are too busy fighting lol Gangster Politics here in Bermie lol What a joke and what an example. If they cannot resolve their issues healthly how in the world are they to teach and lead this country???? Right back to the topic at hand, I believe a fine should be imposed whether he intended to stop here or not; Bermuda has zero tolerance policy. The fine should be used to help children that have been affected by addicted parents.

    • says:

      Kick ass hairdo, speaks four languages, experienced sailor…sounds like a catch!

  4. Carla Rose Louise Wilkinson says:

    @will: are you serious about perhaps giving the drugs to addicts? Surely you are joking, right?

    • YupYup says:

      @Carla, I understand his logic; trust me I do. But I also understand the pain and destruction that addiction causes and when I weigh out the pros/cons of that ideal, it would not be in thebest interest. I think, fine him a very large amount and he cannot leave without paying. Those monies should or could be used to help the children of addicts with school fees etc. and to put toward a really good addiction center or program. Somewhere on and island where they have to be taken out of the community to reflect, get help and get better.

    • LMAWTFO says:


    • Tommy Chong says:

      Why not? There is no magic wand to cure drug addiction. What would you rather addicts fund fattening dealers pockets & robbing little old ladies for their fix? There is no quick cure for addiction but if a proffessional doses addicts properly they can ween them down with lower doses bit by bit. Do you think a dealer is going to try to ween there costumer off drugs with gradual reduction? In MAWI they already give patients other legal but still addictive drugs to reduce their cravings but this doesn’t work well because its not the same drug they are addicted to so the addict still goes literally down the road to get illegal drugs & mixes it with what they have already been given which is very dangerous. There are already countries in europe that administer addicts with the drug their addicted to & this practice has worked well for those countries to reduce addiction & drug related crimes. Then again this practice would also reduce the amount of court fines & fees so it could be considered a negative in the pockets of judges & lawyers.

  5. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Ohhhh Gaaawd…another Uighur!

  6. D. Masters says:

    Surely you cant be serious?! The moment he decided to enter Bermie waters, he becomes liable for his actions in said waters. With the drug problems in Bda as it is, no tolerance or leniency should be afforded to this man if found guilty. It makes no difference where the drugs where destined, they got caught in Bda, Bda should exercise shift justice in this case. Its seems pretty much open and shut. If he’s Guilty he should have a comfy cell prepared at case-mates, paid for in full by his country of citizenship. One other thing, if dude doesn’t get prosecuted to the fullest extant of the law, you should come to realize who those drugs truly belonged too…..

  7. Keisha says:

    Shoulda let the US Coast guard deal with this! Now my text payin $$ is gonna b spent on his non bermudiam a**!!