Confessed Kenyan drug trafficker Baktash Akasha was on Friday given five minutes to plead for a lesser jail term before the Southern District of New York Court Justice Victor Marrero read his sentence.
Speaking in court, Baktash apologized over his involvement in the drugs trade and causing pain to members of his family, who he regretted not spending enough happy times with
“I am truly guilty of these crimes, and I stand ashamed… I only have myself to blame (and) I need to change who I am as a person,” Baktash told the court.
The 41-year-old also said he was sorry for “the harm I have done not only to myself but to all those who love me. I have denied myself so many precious moments I should have had with my family,” he said as quoted by Daily Nation.
He further explained that he got into the drug trafficking business as a result of the murder of his father and did not know what he was getting into at the time.
“I truly wish I could turn back the clock knowing what I know now,” said Baktash.
His attorney George Goltzer told the court that despite Baktash’s involvement in crime; he was a good man as helped residents of Mombasa. He said Baktash especially came to the rescue fishermen during financial hardships.
“He was greedy. He made terrible choices, but you can’t compare him to the kind of criminal who caused hundreds of thousands of overdoses in the US,” argued Goltzer in reference to Mexican drug lord El Chapo.
Baktash, who pleaded guilty to six counts of drug trafficking and bribery in October 2018, was sentenced to 25 years in prison plus a fine of $100,000 (about Sh10.3 million).
Justice Marrero ruled that Baktash sought to smuggle large quantities of Heroin and Methamphetamine into the United States.
The judge further ruled that he conspired to possess machine guns and destructive weapons, and bribed Kenyan officials to avoid extradition to the US to face drug-related charges.