By Nico Scavella
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SENIOR police officer yesterday testified how the boyfriend of internet sensation Handerea “Miss Florida” Rolle tried to flush a quantity of marijuana down a toilet the day police raided a home they were in two months ago.
Assistant Superintendent Zhivargo Earns told Deputy Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain he caught Ilano Noel trying to flush a bowl of weed on February 13, moments after he and two other officers broke down the door to a home on Smith’s Lane.
ASP Earns said after catching and subduing Noel, who has since been sentenced in connection with the discovery, Rolle and the owner of the residence, Kenneth Moncur, were found hiding in two separate rooms in the home.
Another senior officer, Detective Sergeant Anthony Allen Jr of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), said Rolle indicated in her initial interview that she was only present at the residence in question because she went there to get some money from Noel, her boyfriend, concerning their child.
Det Sgt Allen said Rolle claimed ASP Earns and other officers arrived shortly after she had arrived at the home.
However, Det Sgt Allen claimed both Rolle and Moncur admitted in their respective records of interview to being aware that Noel was in possession of suspected marijuana, adding the latter said he agreed to let Noel operate from his home in exchange for payment.
According to the testimony of ASP Earns, around 10.45am on February 13, he was on mobile patrol with Insp Bain and Detective Corporal Pinder, when, acting on certain information and armed with a search warrant, they proceeded to house #27 on Smith’s Lane.
Upon arrival, they entered the yard and knocked on a southern door of the home before identifying themselves as police. Upon doing so, ASP Earns said he heard shuffling sounds akin to people running coming from inside the house. ASP Earns said he also heard people inside whispering “police”.
He then said he heard the sound of a toilet flushing.
ASP Earns said he forced open the door, and upon doing so observed a male running with a large plastic bowl in his hand. He eventually caught up with the male in a bathroom, where he observed him emptying the contents of the bowl into the toilet.
The male, who later gave his name as Ilano Noel, was quickly subdued. Inside the toilet was a quantity of suspected marijuana.
ASP Earns said he consequently informed the three suspects hey were suspected of being in possession and dangerous drugs before handing them a search warrant, which he said they all appeared to have read.
He said they were also showed the marijuana in the toilet. Also next to the bathroom door in the hallway was a black, nylon carry-on bag. That bag, which was examined in the presence of the three suspects, contained a black plastic bag as well as 86 foil-wrapped packages, all containing a quantity of suspected marijuana.
The carry-on bag also contained a clear saran-wrap package with a quantity of suspected marijuana. Police also discovered $50 cash in mixed currency resting on the kitchen counter of the residence.
The suspected marijuana dumped in the toilet was collected and placed in a green plastic bag, ASP Earns said. The suspects were subsequently cautioned and informed that they were under arrest for possession of dangerous drugs.
He said the three were subsequently transported to the South-Central Police Station and booked. The drugs and the cash were ultimately taken to DEU where they were initialed for future identification purposes and handed over to DEU officials for further investigation.
Insp Bain’s testimony mirrored that of ASP Earns.
However, Moncur challenged the testimony of both ASP Earns and Insp Bain, claiming when police entered his home, he was in his bed sleeping as opposed to hiding as they said.
Moncur further claimed ASP Earns tapped him on his waist to wake him from his slumber and, after he woke up, he was escorted out of the room into another portion of the house and it was then he found out about the drugs.
Moncur further claimed he was never shown a search warrant and, in any event, said he cannot read.
He also stated he is a “good citizen” of the Bahamas, and hadn’t been in a court of law for some 17 years prior to the current matter. He also accused the officers of “lying” on him, claiming during the time he was remanded in connection with the present matter, his child died.
Rolle, meanwhile, claimed when officers broke into the house, she was in the front room on her phone. She said Insp Bain took her into the back room, where he and another officer questioned her.
Insp Bain denied Rolle’s assertions, however.
Nonetheless, Det Sgt Allen, during his testimony moments prior, said while on duty sometime around 5.30pm on February 13, he received certain information.
As a result, he received a black, carry-on bag containing a black plastic shopping bag with a total of 86 silver foil wraps, one clear plastic wrap and a green, transparent Ziploc package, each containing a quantity of suspected marijuana.
He said he also received some $50 in mixed currency and two police reports from ASP Earns and Insp Bain. The items were measured and weight one and a quarter pounds, Det Sgt Allen said.
The senior officer said he later conducted a written interview at DEU with Moncur. During the interrogation Moncur was informed of the offence of which he was suspected of committing, possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply and was also made aware of his rights to secure legal representation.
However, Det Sgt Allen said Moncur declined to have an attorney present, so the interview proceeded.
During the interview, Det Sgt Allen said Moncur subsequently admitted to being aware drugs were in his house, and that he was aware Noel was operating from his premises.
The officer said Moncur told him Noel promised to pay him monies in return for allowing him to sell drugs from his residence.
At the end of the interview, Det Sgt Allen said Moncur acknowledged the answers he provided by signing the record of interview. However, he said Moncur declined to give a written statement.
Det Sgt Allen said he later had an opportunity to interview Rolle. She too was made aware of her rights to secure legal representation, and also informed of the offence she was accused of committing.
However, Det Sgt Allen said Rolle declined to have a lawyer present for the interview.
The officer said the Ragged Island Street resident was asked a “series of questions” that were documented on an official police record of interview sheet. Det Sgt Allen said Rolle admitted to being aware of her boyfriend being in possession of suspected marijuana.
However, he said she claimed she only arrived at the residence in question to collect money from her boyfriend, which he later said was to pay for a Valentine’s Day-related venture concerning their child.
Det Sgt Allen said Rolle acknowledged her answers by signing the record of interview. However, she declined to give a statement.
Upon completion of both interviews, both Rolle and Moncur were charged with possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply. Neither of them gave any response to the charge at the time, he said.
Det Sgt Allen said the drugs were dated, initialed and signed for future identification purposes and were handed over to Detective Inspector Burrows, the exhibit officer at DEU. The $50, he said, was seized as the suspected proceeds of criminal activity, and was also processed and turned over to Insp Burrows.
The matter continues on May 9. Rolle remains on bail, while Moncur was remanded into custody until that time.
On February 14, Rolle, Moncur and Noel were arraigned before the deputy chief magistrate on a single count of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
It is alleged that on the day in question, the three were found in possession of 1lb 13 ounces of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1,700.
Noel pleaded not guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, while Rolle and Moncur pleaded not guilty.