Guyanese National-level swimmer Earlando McRae was detained in New York City on November 4th after allegedly being found at JFK International Airport with 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase.
According to court documents (see the full complaint here), McRae arrived at JFK on a Fly Jamaica flight and was chosen by US Customs and Border Protection for an “enforcement examination.”
Court documents state that McRae said that everything in his suitcase belonged to him. The documents said that while searching his suitcase, enforcement officers discovered that the cocaine was hidden in the walls of his suitcase when they noticed they “felt unusually thick.” The substance field-tested for cocaine, and McRae waived his Miranda rights and said that he knew that the suitcase contained cocaine prior to his trip.
The 28-year old swimmer competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2013 World Championships representing his native Guyana. After a 3-year hiatus from the sport, he returned to the pool earlier this year and represented Guyana at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
He finished 68th in the 50 breaststroke at Worlds in 2013 with a time of 32.24. He swam a 56.91 in the 100 free at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Court records show that he is being held without bail.
In the state of New York, possession of 8 ounces or more of cocaine (2.5 kilograms is about 88 ounces) is considered a Class A-I felony punishable by 8 to 20 years in prison for first-time offenders. Federal sentencing guidelines provide for not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years for that quantity of cocaine, if convicted, plus a fine of not more than $2 million.