Debra Reid, mother of alleged "drug mule" Melissa Reid, says her daughter should plead guilty to drug charges in Peru in exchange for a reduced sentence, Scottish STV News reported Monday.
Melissa and her friend Michaella McCollum Connolly, both 20, were caught with more than $2 million in cocaine last month as they passed through Lima airport in Peru.
Both claim they were forced to carry the drugs by an armed gang and that their families were threatened. But a Lima court has now charged both women with drug trafficking, and they face prison sentences of up to 15 years each if convicted.
Debra Reid said that while she believes the pair “were definitely coerced” into carrying the drugs, the reality is that if Melissa pleaded guilty, “we’ll get her home earlier.”
STV News reported that if the women pleaded guilty they could face around two years in jail, as opposed to up to 15 years if they plead innocent but are found guilty.
"It’s the best years of your life from 20 to 35, as you know. You’ve got a few more years of enjoying yourself, and then maybe you meet somebody, settle down, have a family," Debra Reid added.
The pair will are scheduled to return to court Sept. 17 to enter their pleas.
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