By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Court of Appeal yesterday quashed all convictions for one of three men found guilty of a plot to smuggle $850,000 worth of marijuana into the country.
Lathario Rose, 41, David Colebrooke, 53, and Dwayne Henderson, 46, were found guilty in June 2013 of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, importation of dangerous drugs, conspiracy to import dangerous drugs and conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply concerning a March 2, 2011, seizure.
However, Court of Appeal Justices Abdulai Conteh, Neville Adderley and Jon Isaacs ruled yesterday that the charges of importation of dangerous drugs and possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply could not stand against the three men because the drugs were not found in Bahamian jurisdiction based on evidence produced at trial.
The court did not interfere with the convictions of conspiracy to possess and import dangerous drugs for Rose and Colebrooke. However, the court ruled that the evidence did not support a conviction for Henderson on those offences.
Two others, 31-year-old Nathaniel Higgs and 30-year-old Jason Major, stood trial with them but were acquitted of the charges.
The five men were accused of conspiring together to bring 852 pounds of marijuana into the Bahamas.
Defence Force officers found packages of marijuana dumped in the sea and the accused on a boat off the Ragged Island chain.
However, those facts were disputed at trial where Defence Force marine Mike Moss told the court that he was on the vessel that pursued a grey go-fast vessel, with three outboard engines, off the Cuban coast on March 2, 2011.
Mr Moss said the suspects’ boat eventually stopped. According to Mr Moss, packages of suspected marijuana were collected from international waters.
However, according to Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) officer Corporal Seabury Ferguson, who was also on the RBDF boat, the drugs were found in Bahamian waters.
However, both witnesses agreed that the suspects and the boat were taken to Mathew Town, Inagua, following the seizure.
Trial commenced in June 2011 and concluded in June 2013 with then Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell finding Rose, also known as Dion Minnis, guilty with Colebrooke and Henderson.
Colebrooke was sentenced to four years in prison on each count. Henderson received three years while Rose was given three years and six months for his part in the plot.
The sentences for Rose and Colebrooke concerning conspiracy were affirmed. However, those sentences are nearly completed.