(CMC) — A Bermuda government cabinet minister was said to be “absolutely heartbroken” after two of his sons were jailed in England over a drugs operation they ran targeting university students.
Marcus Weeks, 28, and his younger brother, Dalji Waldron, 23, the sons of Minister of Social Development and Sport, Michael Weeks, ran “a mobile shop”, selling cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
On Tuesday, they were both jailed for four years and four months after they admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis, and cannabis cultivation charges.
The court heard from their lawyer that their father was “absolutely heartbroken” by his sons’ crimes.
A shocked Weeks later said “as a minister and a father, I want to sound a warning to our young children — the temptation is there, but it’s not just you who pays. Think what it does to your family.”
“My sons are intelligent, articulate, well-read young men who made foolish choices and are now reaping the consequences of those choices. They made a conscious decision to break the law, therefore, they have to pay for the decisions made. There is no way around it or ability to skim over it,” he added.
Weeks’ eldest son, Malik, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Bermuda on Christmas Day in 2012, when he was 24, and the minister said the death had hit his brothers hard.
He said when Malik died, they did go off the rails somewhat. Being the big brother, it was really a shock.
“They were both over there in school in England. That Christmas morning they spoke to him and less than 24 hours later, they got a call that he had died.”
Weeks was speaking after Lisa Hardy, for the prosecution, told the court that the brothers ran the operation to make money after they moved to live in Lincoln, a cathedral city in England’s East Midlands.
“They were operating at mid-market level. They were buying in bulk amounts collecting the drugs from London then selling them in gram deals. They had a range of products.
“They clearly had a management function within this. They were not drug users. They were motivated by financial gain. There were videos on their phones of them paying for items in cash — £2,000 (about US$2,500) on one item”
She said that there’s a video of them on Christmas Day giving their mother various gifts, including a car.
“Neither was ever registered as employed in the UK and neither was registered as a student.” she added.
The brothers were first arrested in January last year after a car driven by Marcus Weeks was stopped by police on the A1 motorway for having no insurance. Officers said they smelled cannabis and a quantity of the drug was found inside the car.
Police later raided Weeks and Waldron’s home in Lincoln and found £16,000 ($21,000) worth of cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine in the brothers’ locked bedrooms. Checks on their mobile phones revealed messages showing they had been dealing for months.
Weeks and Waldron admitted charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis between August 17, 2016 and September 22, 2017. They also admitted production of cannabis on September 22 last year.
Recorder Graham Huston told the two “the messages show you had a large number of customers from the student population in Lincoln. It would appear that is a group you targeted.
“Clearly, this was a profitable business. Your father is a minister in the Bermudian government. Both of you have something of a privileged background. I am told that this is a matter of real distress to your father. The cause of that distress is entirely of your own making.”
Bermuda-based Queen Counsel, Jerome Lynch, who appeared for the defence, said acknowledged that the boys’ father is a government minister in the Bermudian government.
“He is absolutely heartbroken by what his two sons have done, not least because his third son died in a (motorcycle) accident. He now loses these sons as well for a time.”
“He has funded their representation as a last-ditch effort to make them understand that there is a limit to how far he is able and willing to go.”
Lynch told the court that the boys were operating what can best be described as a mobile shop.
“They were not pressing these drugs on the vulnerable. They were in receipt of information from customers seeking to purchase. I don’t offer any excuses because they have had a relatively comfortable background.
“Bermuda is a strict place. It is almost as if being allowed off the leash in a new country has provided the backdrop to this criminal behaviour,’ Lynch added.