Latvian Sailor Guilty: $48 Million Cocaine Charge

June 7, 2012

A Latvian sailor charged with being in possession of $48 million worth of cocaine, a gun and ammunition was found guilty this afternoon [June 7], with the jury returning a unanimous verdict.

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 Latvia, and had not intended to come to Bermuda, however diverted to the island after experiencing problems with his sailboat.

During the trial, Mr Zegelis said he was paid to sail the boat from Trinidad to Latvia by a Russian man, and discovered the cocaine in a compartment on the boat after a few days at sea.

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

Mr Zegelis will be sentenced at a later date.

- File photo

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  1. Photos: Latvian Sailor’s $48 Million Drug Haul | | March 12, 2014
  1. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    That’s one hellava blow .

  2. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    Ya boy’s cool now …get’s to live at our WestGate Correcreational Facility …he’s gonna be kingpin up thur…lmfao

  3. plato says:

    Wonder what the russian mafia’s next step will be — an armed raid on the cop shop to retrieve the stash?

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

    Breaking news…Russian Mafia blows up tiny island of Bermuda after drug deal gone bad.

  5. owner4comment says:

    It’s far 2 easy 2 throw away your life and what makes it even harder not 2 take chances is the stresses of life mouths 2 feed , bills 2 pay with no viable options other then 2 try your luck @ something like this. This is the sad reality of many, either make or break is the mindstate of many. It’s really sad when u think about it. The governments and private banks get away with murder as pertained 2 misspending and minipulating these ecomonies for their gains they break all the rules yet us, the public citizens get out of line the slightest and their all on our asses. They’ve created a mess and now it’s up 2 them 2 fix it and until they do so you’ll continue 2 see articles of this nature more frequently then you’d care 2 hear about. It’s a sad thing but to all going through any unsettling situations I pray 4 you and yours. #AMEN!

  6. Um Um Like says:

    If we’re going to be paying $80k/year to house this guy perhaps we should attempt to capitalize on the situation. Somebody call National Geographic! “Locked Up Abroad: Bermuda”

  7. Bermudian. says:

    Now we are going to put this guy up for the next 20 years, at 80k per year, Damn. everybody pays.

  8. Bermuda Son says:

    Greetings Bermuda,
    Now We the Taxpayer are going to have to pay $70,000 plus per year to incarcerate this man.
    He was here for 10days prior to his boat being boarded. Clearly the contraband was not intended for our Island!!!!
    What benefit is it for we the Average Bermudian Taxpayer to pay possibly a $1,000,000 or more for his incarceration???????
    Couldn’t That $70,000 plus per year, been Better Spent On Improving The Lives Of Bermudians?????
    For example, Given To Charities, Dept. Financial Assistance, Easing Burden On Our Senior Population?????
    This is Just My Opinion, and I am Simply a Poor Bermuda Son!!!!!!!
    Have a Dry, Blessed, & Safe Day Bermuda!!!!!

  9. Bermywan says:

    My $20 out of that 80k would vouch for a fresh haircut. Bie chingas


    I am going to let you know that his punishment if set free is gonna much harsher than any sentence Bermuda could ever impose on him ! 48 million dollars worth of cocaine lost! Thats a big loss to even John Gotti when he was in his prime! Being locked up all the way over here in Bermuda is a blessing for this guy right now! Some people would kill a whole neighborhood for that type of money! Somebody somewhere wants to take this guys head clean off right now believe me! So now Bermuda is gonna waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to house, clothe and feed this guy from Latvia for years and years and years! Take the cocaine from him and let him go! That’s punishment in it’s self!!! I hope this guy has better protection than any other prisoner in Westgate right now. A 48 million dollar loss can put your life in jeopardy no matter where you are in the world. That person obviously already has some deep pockets to have that much cocaine. People would travel the world looking for you for that type of money! He better hope those people in Latvia don’t read the Royal Gazette cause if they do i feel sorry for him!

    • Bermuda Son says:

      I agree!!!
      Take The Drugs, Gun and sell the Boat Then Deport Him!!!
      The Bermuda Government is Struggling to Financially Keep The Island Running as It Is!!!!!
      Spending Thousands Of Dollars For Incarceration is This case Is Not Money Well Spent At All!!!!!!!!!

  11. ECS says:

    I say sell the drugs back to the russians and get us out of the recession!!

  12. Jury says:

    Send him back home to do his jail time!

  13. Ariatta says:

    Government have now 48 millions !!!!…so have enough money to pay about jail!

  14. Bermy's Finest says:

    Send him back!!!