By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO men denied having knowledge or custody of $1.4m worth of marijuana seized on Sunday from a rental unit of a quiet residential community off Tonique Williams Highway.
Dennis Earnest, 41, and Dundas Munnings, 34, appeared before Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes yesterday facing charges of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply and in fact possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
Munnings faced an addition count of the latter charge concerning a lesser amount of Indian hemp allegedly found in his possession.
Both men pleaded not guilty to allegations that they were found with 1,389 pounds of marijuana on June 26.
On the day in question, Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) officers acted on a tip, which led them to a rental property at the rear of Pikkano Properties around 9.15am where two men were allegedly discovered with 1,389 pounds of marijuana at various stages of packaging.
The haul of marijuana was housed in a small efficiency attached to the three-story rental property, which had the appearance of a drug processing facility with different sections of the structure representing specialised production areas.
Earnest and Munnings were told that they would stand trial on September 29 and were remanded to the Department of Correctional Services because the offences are not eligible for bail.
However, they were advised of their right to apply to the Supreme Court for a bond if they wished to be released from custody before their trial.
Earnest has retained attorney Jomo Campbell to represent him. Munnings was not represented in yesterday’s arraignment.
In a separate arraignment, 32-year-old Ayvan Arty faced a single charge of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply stemming from a seizure of 24 pounds of suspected marijuana in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
It is alleged that he had knowledge and custody of Indian hemp on Friday, June 24. However, the accused denied the allegation.
According to police reports, officers of Operation Turf Sweep searched a residence on Pearl Way Drive, Sea Horse Village, and discovered a large black garbage bag containing four sealed packages of suspected marijuana. A man and woman were arrested and taken into police custody.
Arty, who was also remanded to prison, will stand trial in New Providence and not Grand Bahama as the chief magistrate said he did not intend to transfer the matter to that jurisdiction.
Arty’s lawyer, Carlson Shurland expressed his reservations, but the court’s decision for a September 19 trial in the capital was not changed.