By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SECOND of three men recently charged in connection with the $1 million drug seizure in waters off Andros owned up to his involvement in the smuggling plot yesterday.
Jacob Curtis, 34, of Kemp Road now joins 45-year-old Pedro Brown behind bars at Her Majesty’s Prison after Magistrate Andrew Forbes accepted Curtis’ guilty plea and sentenced him to four years in prison.
However, Curtis will also serve an additional three years in jail for not returning to the Magistrate’s court after pleading guilty to drug charges in a separate case prior to the $1 million seizure.
Last Friday, Curtis, Brown, of Waterford, Eleuthera, and 40-year-old Raymond Bain of Sandy Point, Abaco, were arraigned before Magistrate Samuel McKinney of court no.1 on charges of 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 been committed.
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 onboard.
Their suspicion proved to be correct when officers discovered a number of crocus sacks containing what was suspected to be marijuana.
The occupants were cautioned, arrested and with their drugs taken to Nassau to face charges.
Bain and Curtis had 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.
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 face another year in jail.
Bain and Curtis were given a trial date for June 19.
However, Curtis appeared in court no.8 yesterday because of a warrant of arrest that had been previously issued for him for not returning to court to stand trial for another drug-related matter.
Curtis indicated to the court that he wished to plead guilty to this matter as well as to the charges concerning last week’s seizure.
Magistrate Forbes accepted his guilty pleas in both matters and sentenced him accordingly.