64-year-old Ghanaian woman jailed for smuggling heroin to NY

This granny told one fish tale too many.

Rose Amanor, who was carrying two Bibles and documents written in English — and English is the native language in her home country of Ghana — said she needed a Twi interpreter for court proceedings.

Daily News – A 64-year-old Ghanaian woman was sentenced Friday to more than 27 months in prison for smuggling heroin into the U.S. stuffed inside dried fish.

Rose Amanor was nabbed at Kennedy Airport with three kilos of heroin, and failed to convince a federal jury in Brooklyn that she had been duped by her son into bringing the bag of fish to New York City.

Amanor faced up to 6 1/2 years behind bars and her lawyers begged for mercy citing her advanced age and poor health, requesting a sentence of time served so she could return to Africa.

But Federal Judge Eric Vitaliano, a native of Staten Island where heroin overdoses outpace murders, said punishment was in order for Amanor, citing “the incessant number of fish stories” she has told authorities.

Vitaliano pointed out that cops must carry antidote kits to save overdose victims and if the “poison” Amanor was carrying had not been intercepted, it would have been “let loose to wreak havoc on young people.”

“I find it totally incredible that Mrs. Amanor didn’t know what it was that she was doing,” Vitaliano said. “It certainly was a disrespect for the law, sitting in this courtroom and spinning this incredible tale under oath.”

Amanor has served about 13 months since her arrest last year, and will be deported to Ghana after completing her time.

Amanor claimed she needed a Twi interpreter for the court proceedings despite the fact that English is the national language of Ghana, and when she was arrested she was carrying two Bibles, a dietary nutrition plan, and other documents written in English, and had received numerous emails from her son written in English.

Through the interpreter, Amanor told the judge: “I am asking you to have mercy on me so I can go home to my family and enjoy whatever time I have left with my family.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bini told the judge that the government did not oppose a sentence that was lower than the federal guidelines, but did oppose giving her time served because she committed perjury on the witness stand and because of the large amount of heroin she was caught carrying.

Citywide in 2014, 458 people died from heroin overdoses, a 61% spike from the 284 in 2011.

 

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