Peru drug mule to plead guilty in bid to receive shorter sentence

Michaella McCollum Connolly, from County Tyrone, accused of being a drug mule in Peru, leaving court

Alleged drug mule Michaella McCollum Connolly is ready to make a plea bargain with the Peruvian authorities that will see her receive a seven year sentence.

The County Tyrone 21-year-old is to plead guilty to cocaine charges in a Lima court according to various reports in the Irish media.

Her Scottish travelling companion Melissa Reid has already indicated that she will strike a deal with Peruvian authorities.

The Irish solicitor working for McCollum Connolly is about to announce a similar move according to the Irish Sun.

The paper says McCollum Connolly will plead guilty to charges that she tried to ship cocaine in her luggage.

Dungannon native Michaella will say she stands by her claim that she was forced to try to smuggle the drugs but that she will plead guilty as part of a sentence-slashing deal.

Her legal team hope the guilty plea could see her serve part of her sentence back home in Northern Ireland.

The two girls claim they were targeted by gangsters in Ibiza who sent them to Peru to traffic the drugs.

The pair were caught by customs officers in Peru last month as they tried to board a plane for Spain with over $2million worth of cocaine in their luggage.

Reports at the weekend claimed Reid has already struck a deal with prosecutors that will give her a sentence of six years and eight months.

The deal could mean she is freed in less than three years and includes an arrangement that Peruvian prosecutors will drop claims Reid was being paid to transport the drugs.

Reid said she had cut a deal in a bid to save years of her life.

She explained: “Pleading guilty is going to enable me to get back to my family in Scotland sooner rather than later.

“I do not want to be in jail until 35 — I can’t get back those years.

Reid also said that Michaella is “like a sister” to her and that the pair “keep each other going” in the prison.

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