Bermuda sentence one year

Andrew Blatchley

Charleston sailor Andrew "Steve" Blatchley was sentenced Friday to one year in prison in Bermuda for his role in a marijuana-trafficking case.

His wife is optimistic he could be home as soon as this weekend if he gets "time-served" credit for the 11 months he's been held.

Blatchley, 59, earlier this week pleaded guilty in Bermuda's Supreme Court to money laundering the proceeds from drug trafficking. Co-defendant Peter Sagos, 36, of Ottawa, Canada, pleaded guilty to possessing the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Both men had denied the original charges of conspiring to import marijuana.

The Royal Gazette newspaper of Bermuda also reported Friday that Judge Charles-Etta Simmons issued a confiscation order relating to various amounts of cash recovered and for Blatchley's 36-foot sailboat, Bomba Shack.

Blatchley's wife, Sandi, who lives in the Charleston area, said the sentence amounts to time-served and that he could be on his way home this weekend, depending on finding space on a commercial plane flight out.

"There is no sentence other than he is coming home," she said Friday.

"I don't care if you say he murdered the pope," she said. "I got what I wanted; he's coming home."

Blatchley, a British national, has been held in the island's Westgate Prison after his arrest in October as he and two passengers were leaving the island on his chartered sailboat.

The passengers later were released, while Blatchley was held and charged.

Sagos was arrested separately.

The Royal Gazette reported the amount of marijuana allegedly involved was worth as much as $33 million. Thousands of dollars in various currencies of cash and a gun were found during a search of Blatchley's boat, the newspaper said.

The newspaper also reported for a story today that during the sentencing, officials were told that "Blatchley told police he was involved in importing the cannabis to Bermuda. It has never been found."

The maximum penalty the two defendants could have faced was 25 years, the Royal Gazette reported.

Sandi Blatchley said she's glad the case appears to be over.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551 or skropf@postandcourier.com.