Caymanian businessman, Gilroy Bryce Merren, has dropped his appeal against a nine-year prison sentence for drug conspiracy.
Merren was seeking to have his jail sentence reduced after claiming he had ineffective legal counsel because his attorney did not visit him in jail. His appeal was filed June 2016 but has now been withdrawn after a two-page letter was received last month by the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico.
Merren pleaded guilty in December 2014 to conspiring to distribute between 50 kilograms and 150kg of cocaine via an operation he attempted to set up in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Prosecutors said Merren, who was 47 at the time, would have faced between 11 and 14 years’ imprisonment, according to federal sentencing guidelines, but that his attorney negotiated a plea bargain down to nine years, based on certain terms. Part of the plea agreement, according to court records, was that Merren agreed to waive his right to appeal his conviction or his sentence.
Merren was arrested in March 2014 on allegations that he was attempting to set up a money laundering operation to cover for planned cocaine shipments through Puerto Rico. He pleaded guilty to one count in an indictment alleging he conspired with other individuals to possess cocaine. It was one of the three charges initially filed against him. The other two charges, alleging money laundering and drug possession, were dropped as part of the plea deal with federal prosecutors.
He was also fined US$75,000. However in 2015 he made a claim that he was unable to pay the fine.