Vincentian-born UK Navy man unknowingly consumes cocaine-laced drink
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December 20, 2013
Vincentian-born UK Navy man unknowingly consumes cocaine-laced drink

Alston and Mona Lewis cannot comprehend the death of their son, Jeromie Lewis.{{more}}

According to reports, Lewis, a former member of the British Royal Navy, died on December 5, after unknowingly consuming a cocaine-laced drink in the United Kingdom.

Although the parents of the deceased were composed when SEARCHLIGHT visited them on Wednesday, it was evident that their son’s death is hard to accept.

“It’s not easy to talk about him,” his father Alston repeated, as tears pooled in his eyes.

Jeromie’s mother shared similar sentiments when she told SEARCHLIGHT that “it’s rough. It’s really heart–rending. Sometimes it feels like somebody take something out of your guts, pull it out.”

As both parents reflected on their son, whom they affectionately referred to as “Jems”, they agreed that he was an extremely kind person, who was generous, loved to give surprises and adored by everyone he met.

In fact, they revealed that when they heard that Jeromie had died, he had been helping a shopkeeper, only hours before, to pack some things away.

“There isn’t a dissenting voice in this village and elsewhere. It’s not easy to talk about him and the way he gone,” Alston said.

“He went to get some stuff for his daughter’s birthday, passed by this shop. Got thirsty, according to the report, that’s what we were told. Asked for a drink, took a drink, a dead man. That’s not easy to comprehend. It’s not easy at all”.

The pair revealed that there have been sketchy reports surrounding their son’s death.

Alston added that he has heard reports stating that his son had come to St Vincent and the Grenadines and taken the drink back to the UK with him.

The passionate father refuted these claims, stating that the last time his son returned home was in 2010.

“We really don’t know exactly what happened. Hopefully, we’ll find out. We don’t know the truth when these things happen, especially if no one else was there,” he said.

Mona, who had a close relationship with her first child, told SEARCHLIGHT that while she is sad about the incident, she is also angry.

“[He was] a child that any mother would like to have… the best son you could ask for,” she said, as a smile graced her face.

“We were very, very close. He would just call and say ‘I just call to see how alyo doing’. It’s tough, but we just trying to keep it together. He’s gone already, so in everything give God thanks. That’s what I keep in my mind in order to hold it together. I mean, you lose a child like that. You sad, but you’re angry because you don’t know the truth”.

Both parents will travel to England tomorrow to bury their son on December 30.

Jeromie was 33-years-old, with a wife and three-year-old daughter and had planned to come home for the holidays.

“We thank God for his life and as the scripture says, give thanks always. In all adversities, give thanks. Even though it’s difficult, we have to say thanks for his life. God knows why. He could have stopped it. Dropped the drink from his hand, healed him from within, but it’s for a reason and whatever the reason is, we wouldn’t know until it comes out,” Alston said with a tone of finality.

Reports state that the former Navy officer consumed a bottle of Cole Cold Pear-D which, following tests, was confirmed to be laced with lethal amounts of cocaine. Although the drink is manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago, the manufacturers have revealed that they do not export that drink to the UK.

Cocaine in liquid form is a technique that is used mainly by smugglers to transport the drug in an undetectable manner. It has surfaced in various countries around the world, including St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In 2007, then police commissioner Keith Miller alerted the Vincentian public to the new method being used to transport the drug, so as to escape detection.

Referring to a bust that was made on December 11, 2007, when Wendellyn Browne and her daughter Kathian Morgan were alleged to have been found with five jugs of liquid cocaine, labelled “STAR SORREL SYRUP”, Miller stated that the liquid could prove harmful to unsuspecting persons.

“What if this got into the open market?” Miller asked. “Do you know how dangerous this could be?”