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Man Jailed Over $1m Drug Seizure

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $25,000 yesterday after owning up to his involvement in the $1 million drug seizure in waters off Andros two days ago.

Magistrate Samuel McKinney told 45-year-old Pedro Brown of Waterford, Eleuthera, that he “must recognise the charges before the court are serious.”

“And considering the drug problem in society, not that I’m blaming you specifically, but drug possession of such high quantity can create problems for our society,” the magistrate added.

Brown, with 40-year-old Raymond Bain of Sandy Point, Abaco, and 34-year-old Jacob Curtis of Kemp Road, appeared in court no.1 on five criminal charges: possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to import dangerous drugs, importation of dangerous drugs and causing damage.

The last charge concerned $17,000 worth of material damage to a police Avenger Boat involved in the arrest on April 2, the day the crimes are alleged to have occurred. 

On the day in question, around 5:45am, officers acted on a tip that led them to an area of water between Cargill and Fresh Creeks, Andros.

They saw a boat equipped with two outboard engines and on getting closer to the vessel, officers turned on their lights and sirens announcing their presence as police. However, the boat engine was started by a person believed to be the captain, drove forward and rammed into the police boat, causing damage.

Officers intercepted the fleeing vessel and brought it to a stop where they again identified themselves as police officers before boarding the vessel and informing the three occupants (including Brown) of their suspicion that drugs were on board.

Their suspicion proved to be correct when officers discovered a number of crocus sacks containing suspected marijuana.

The occupants were cautioned, arrested and transported to the capital along with the drugs to face charges.

Bain and Curtis pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Brown, however, pleaded guilty to all of the drug charges, but not the charge of causing damage.

Police prosecutor ASP Ercell Dorsett noted that according to Brown’s interview with police, Brown admitted being on the boat and knowing that drugs were on board.

He further informed the police that they had left and gone out into the ocean and collected the drugs from another vessel and they were to carry the drugs to Andros.

Lawyer Roger Gomez II, who stood in as amicus of the court for Brown, asked the court to give Brown the mandatory minimum because he was upfront with police and the court from the outset.

Magistrate McKinney noted that notwithstanding his early plea of guilt, Brown had been released from prison in 2009 after serving time for the same offence, possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.

“You must recognise the charges before the court are serious,” the magistrate emphasised.

“And considering the drug problem in society, not that I’m blaming you specifically, but drug possession of such high quantity can create problems for our society,” the magistrate added.

Brown was sentenced to four years in prison each for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, and importation of dangerous drugs. He ordered that the sentences run concurrently.

Regarding conspiracy to import dangerous drugs, Brown was fined $25,000 or faced with an additional year in jail.

The remaining defendants return to court No.8 for trial on June 19.

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