By PAVEL BAILEY
Tribune Court Reporter
THREE men were charged in a Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with a $70,000 cocaine raid in Grand Bahama last week.
Byron Cooper, 34, and Samuel Cooper, 23, both from Abaco as well as John Saunders, 26, of Grand Bahama, were all represented by Charlton Shurland.
All three accused stood before Senior Magistrate Samuel McKinney on charges of possession of dangerous drugs, and two counts each of possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.
According to official police reports, at around 6pm on June 17, officers in the Drug Enforcement Unit saw the three suspects leave a small vessel in McLean’s Town, Grand Bahama, and get into a white van.
When DEU officers pursued the vehicle, they saw the driver throw a red and black backpack out of his window and into nearby bushes.
After apprehending the suspects and recovering the bag it was discovered it contained five packages of suspected cocaine and two pistols.
These items were later positively identified as 11.5 pounds of cocaine valued at $70,000 as well as .9mm Ruger Pistol with four unfired rounds and a .45mm Zig M1911 pistol, with nine live rounds.
All three accused pleaded not guilty.
With no objections to bail by Prosecutor Inspector Timothy Bain it was granted to the accused at $9,500 with one or two sureties.
Under the conditions of their bail, both Byron and Samuel are to sign in at Cooper’s Town Police Station, while Saunders is to sign in at Freeport Central Police Station.
All three accused must report to their respective stations every Wednesday and Friday by 6pm.
The accused drug trial is expected to start on September 1.