For a quick trip from Lima to Miami, Jennifer Davis thought she was going to get $5,000. Instead, she got six years in prison.
A Peruvian court sentenced the 20-year-old Davis to prison Wednesday and ordered her to pay a $2,200 fine for trying to smuggle eight pounds of cocaine out of Peru.Davis, of Danville, Ill., was caught by customs officials at Lima's Jorge Chavez airport in September 1996 as she tried to board a plane to Miami with the cocaine hidden in a suitcase.
She pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges and waited 18 months in Lima's Chorillos prison for her case to come to trial.
Davis trembled as the judge read the sentence and slumped forward in her chair, her lawyer Emilia Fishman said. Reporters were not allowed in the courtroom.
"Jennifer won with this sentence. It could have been much longer. Peruvian drug smugglers sometimes receive up to 20 years," Fishman said. "The judge liked the fact that she had confessed."
The prosecution had demanded at least 10 years for Davis, while Fishman had asked for six.
Davis hopes to serve part of her sentence in a U.S. prison, which is permitted under a treaty between the countries. Fishman said she will start the lengthy application process.
"I dream of a hot shower and my family. I just want to head home and tell other kids not to do what I did," Davis said before her sentencing.