By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
ONLY one of two pilots scheduled to stand trial next week in connection with the recent seizure of more than $1 million worth of drugs at Lynden Pindling International Airport was granted bail by the Court of Appeal.
Darryl Bartlett, the 37-year-old son of a senior official in the Attorney General’s office, and 48-year-old former policeman Murrilo Sullivan appeared in the appellate court yesterday where their lawyer, Murrio Ducille, argued that they were not flight risks and that there was no substantial evidence against them other than the fact that they were pilots of the plane involved the matter.
He said the trial was not likely to start on time given that the defence did not obtain all of the evidence material from the Crown. This latter argument was disputed by Terry Archer and Garvin Gaskin, deputy director of public prosecutions.
Mr Archer, during the proceedings, said that Sullivan was recently convicted in January 2013 of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs, a fact, he said, that should not be ignored. Mr Ducille, however, mentioned that his client had paid his dues and like Bartlett, was still presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
Justices Christopher Blackman, Abdulai Conteh and Neville Adderley granted a $150,000 bond to Bartlett only, adding that Bartlett must have two suretors, report to the Cable Beach police station twice a week, surrender his pilot’s license and not go within 200 feet of an airfield.
And while the court had not been persuaded by prosecutor Terry Archer’s argument that there was no impediments to Bartlett being granted bail, they did accept his request that Barlett be electronically monitored despite objections by Mr Ducille that this measure was excessive given that Barlett already had to put a hold on his livelihood.
Sullivan, however, was denied bail and remanded back to Her Majesty’s Prison.
In five days time – June 19 – Bartlett and Sullivan are expected to stand trial before Magistrate Andrew Forbes with 23-year-old Michael Webster, of Quebec, Canada.
They each face three counts of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to import dangerous drugs and importation of dangerous drugs.
The three, who pleaded not guilty to the charges when arraigned in Magistrates Court on April 10, face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the crimes alleged to have been committed on April 7.
Officers and administrators of the Drug Enforcement Unit acted on a tip that led them to the Executive Flight Support section at the airport. A search was conducted of a Hawker Jet that had just arrived from Montreal, Canada. During the search, officers found four suitcases containing 149 lbs of marijuana, 17.4 lbs of ecstasy pills and 2.6 lbs of Hashish oil.
The marijuana has a street value of $670,000, the ecstasy pills are worth $360,000 and the hashish oil, $20,000.