Silmara Onofre, a 27 year old Brazilian national has been sentenced to two years in prison in Ireland for importing cocaine.
She pleaded guilty to importing over €66,000 worth of the drugs last April. Onefre had very dangerously swallowed the drugs before arriving at Dublin Airport, in an effort to conceal the drugs from inspection. She had arrived on a flight from Portugal and officers became suspicious due to her behaviour at the airport.
Her lawyer, Paraic Dwyer, informed the court that Onofre was “so disposable” to other people that she risked a “potentially fatal” move by trying to hide the drugs in her body. She required medical assistance at Beaumont hospital to help settle her stomach after swallowing 78 pellets of cocaine in total, at just under 1kg in weight.
Judge Martin Nolan, who sentenced Onofre, considered her to be at the bottom end of the scale, used as a drug mule by criminals looking to make money for Irish drug users “unending appetite for cocaine and parties”.
The court heard that Onofre came from poverty in Brazil and was the sole breadwinner for her mother and her two-year-old daughter, working as a beautician. She has no previous convictions in any jurisdictions.
Onofre broke down crying in court, and described her difficulties in life while also expressing sadness at lack of communication with her daughter due to her marriage breakdown.
Since being arrested on April 17th last year Onofre has been in custody, and her 2 year sentencing is to be backdated from that time. She is said to be doing well in prison, is remorseful and she is using the time to learn English and sewing, while also working at reception.
In Ireland prison sentences can be halved due to good behaviour. It’s therefore likely that Onofre will be free within the next few months.