Jack Goldstone, Bali suitcase murder suspect, released from prison

Written by by Staff Writer CNN (CNN) — Chicago socialite Jack D. Goldstone, who was sentenced to six years in a Bali prison for his role in an attempted murder during a drug trafficking…

Jack Goldstone, Bali suitcase murder suspect, released from prison

Written by by Staff Writer

CNN

(CNN) — Chicago socialite Jack D. Goldstone, who was sentenced to six years in a Bali prison for his role in an attempted murder during a drug trafficking scam, has been released by Indonesian officials, according to reports.

A court in Denpasar, Bali, convicted Goldstone and fellow American Jessica Salcido of the crime in May 2015. Both have denied the charges and said they had only been looking to exchange money for drugs.

Socialite Jack D. Goldstone and Jessica Salcido are escorted by police after being sentenced to prison on the resort island of Bali. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The court in Denpasar called Goldstone a “big-hearted” and “principled” man who was duped into helping them get the drugs out of the country in what authorities dubbed the “suitcase case.”

Before the murder attempt, Goldstone had purchased an airline ticket, online rental car voucher and another package when he discovered the reality of the drugs, in March 2014.

Indonesian prosecutors had demanded a 15-year jail term for Goldstone and six years for Salcido. However, their lawyers asked for a less severe sentence of two years and one day in consultation with psychiatrists in Bali who testified that the two Americans would pose no risk to the public.

The court judge accepted their recommendation, stating that the two women had been duped by Goldstone into carrying the drugs. She said their actions did not meet the legal minimum of culpability and justified the shorter sentences.

“I don’t care if it (his sentence) is cut in half,” Goldstone said in a statement carried by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. “I have been in prison 14 months already. It’s time for me to be home with my family. I will never give up and I hope that by my story people get the message to never take drugs.

“I hope that my story can be helpful to discourage others and deter people from committing crimes. My family and I have never had a problem. We were just fools who got tricked and I hope that many people can learn from our mistakes.”

The murder attempt was a botched attempt to smuggle around three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine out of Bali. The drugs were found inside a suitcase, after it was spotted being checked in at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said that there were no plans to re-appeal against Goldstone’s sentence. “Goldstone has been released by way of Bali’s Department of Corrections. He arrived at the Bali International Airport at 8.35 a.m. and boarded his flight to the US,” Prasetyo told CNN.

Goldstone posted a picture of himself with his wife on his Facebook page Friday morning. He added the caption: “Welcome home #JackGoldstone but my story is only just beginning. My story will continue to shock the world. You can still read about Jack’s case in LA Weekly!”

The Telegraph said they were expecting Goldstone to re-emigrate to Los Angeles, or San Francisco in the meantime.

Goldstone currently has a book deal with Dutton published next month titled “Dope Salute: Inside the International Drug Trafficking Cartel.”

The four-part series examines how US Attorney General Loretta Lynch sent the FBI to Bali with the intention of getting to the bottom of the case.

Although the couple had been aware of the drugs in the suitcase, they had not intended to bring them out of Indonesia, not believing at first that they would be unable to see them, according to claims made by Salcido.

She told CNN that Goldstone “is already a VIP” in the drug-dealing business.

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