By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE last three of 11 men involved in a decade-long drug trafficking case were yesterday extradited to the United States to face charges.
Shanto Curry, Devroy Moss and Trevor Roberts were all escorted to a private aircraft at Odyssey Aviation under heavy police guard yesterday to face charges stemming from their alleged involvement in a multi-national drug smuggling organisation. The hand-over took place shortly after 11am.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean, a warrant of surrender was signed and sealed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell, sanctioning the commissioner of police to hand over Curry, Moss and Roberts to US government officials for extradition.
US federal prosecutors had, since 2004, requested the extraditions of Melvin Maycock Sr, Wilfred Ferguson, Carl Culmer, Lynden Deal, Bryan Deal, Sheldon Moore, Gordon Newbold, Torrey Lockhart, Roberts, Curry, and Moss.
In November, Court of Appeal Justices Anita Allen, Abdulai Conteh and Neville Adderley upheld the Magistrate’s Court and Supreme Court’s decision to approve the US federal prosecutors’ decade-old request for the extraditions of the men, ordering that they be committed to the Department of Correctional Services to await hand-over to the US.
Committal proceedings began when they were apprehended in 2008.
Roberts, Moss and Curry were not surrendered, however, as they had filed a constitutional motion formally challenging the ability of Justice Conteh to sit and hear the appeal in advance of the appellate court’s decision.
Earlier this month, however, Justice Vera Watkins dismissed the constitutional applications of the three men, ruling that she did not have the jurisdiction to make a ruling on the same issue that had already been dealt with by the appellate court.
Their lawyer, Maurice Glinton, QC, said his clients would subsequently exercise their right to seek leave to appeal the decision.
In December, Maycock Sr, Ferguson, Culmer, Lynden and Bryan Deal, Moore, Newbold and Lockhart were extradited to the United States.
The Court of Appeal had, prior to their extradition, denied their applications seeking bail and leave to take their case to the Privy Council to contest a Magistrate’s Court’s decision to have them face charges in the US.
US Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson at the time said that by denying the applications, the Bahamas government and the courts have sent a strong message that those accused of crimes that jeopardises the safety of Bahamian citizens will not be allowed to hide from justice.
She previously said the extradition strikes a blow against organised crime and narcotics trafficking in the Bahamas.