Categorized | News, Regional

Police seizes $8.2 mil worth of drugs

LK Hewlett

Police are celebrating a major haul that took almost 570lbs of marijuana and 1 kilo of cocaine worth over $8.2 million off the streets of St. Kitts and Nevis this past weekend.

On Friday afternoon (Nov 13), police arrested Cherry Garden resident 22-year-old Patricesia James, a mother of toddler twins, stemming from the search of her home which turned up 517 pounds of marijuana.

She was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Criminal Investigations, Ian Queeley, is quoted as saying, “This most recent seizure was a result of a joint operation conducted by our officers.”

The very next day (Nov 14) police arrested four men on St. Kitts when they were caught reportedly in the midst of making a drug drop at the Irishtown Bay.

Police reported that around 3pm on Saturday, members of the SSU and Anti-Narcotic Unit were on a routine patrol along the Bay Road in Irishtown in the vicinity of the Garden Housing Project, when officers observed and monitored some “suspicious activities”.

“A blue and white motor vessel bearing the name “Pearla Negra” was observed very close to the shoreline. As the officers monitored, a person exited a car that was parked in the area, and an orange and white bucket was thrown to him by one of the two occupants on the boat.

“The person, upon receiving the bucket, ran towards the Garden’s playing field area and was pursued by the officers and caught. A search of the bucket was carried out and one kilo of cocaine with street value of ECC $89,100.00 was found in the bucket,” police reported.

The boat headed for sea and was intercepted and detained by the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard.

The occupants of the boat were Dominican Republic nationals, Rafael Chapman and Merlin Murrain Matos, who claimed they reside in Nevis. They were taken into custody.

Police continued the operation by searching the home of Bevin Taylor of Salt Pond Alley, Irishtown, the local man caught at the scene with the cocaine. That turned up 50.7 lbs with a street value ECC $380,250

Dennial Rouse was at the residence when the search was conducted and he too was taken into custody.

Chapman and Matos were subsequently charged possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and importation of cocaine.

Taylor was charged with the possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and importation of cocaine.

Rouse has been charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Patricesia James went before the magistrate court Wednesday (Nov 18) and was released on $100,000 bail with three sureties.

Rouse was on Tuesday granted $100,000 bail with two sureties.

Taylor, Chapman and Matos will go before the court for a bail hearing today, Friday (Nov 20) as police have indicated they would object to bail.

Members of the public have highlighted the disparity between the way these persons recently charged with drug possession were dealt with in the courts compared to a drug bust that occurred a few weeks prior. In that instance local men Kenrick Simmonds and Tenielle “Blaze” Percival along with Antiguan Greg Williamson were charged with various offences stemming from an Oct 1 bust that netted police 124lbs of marijuana.

While Williamson was denied bail and remanded to prison, Simmonds and Percival were granted bail in the amount of $500,000 each with two sureties, the surrender of their travel documents and they have to report to a police station every Friday.

A local law student commented that something has to be “fundamentally wrong” with the court system when an individual caught with over 500lbs of marijuana, and one caught with large quantities of cocaine and marijuana received $100,000 bail while those charged for 124lbs of weed were slapped with half a million-dollar bail

“If you look at the circumstances, none of the individuals involved have prior drug convictions. All are young citizens, some with young children. Why is there such a huge difference in the bail amounts? This demands judicial review,” the student charged.

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LK Hewlett

Police are celebrating a major haul that took almost 570lbs of marijuana and 1 kilo of cocaine worth over $8.2 million off the streets of St. Kitts and Nevis this past weekend.

On Friday afternoon (Nov 13), police arrested Cherry Garden resident 22-year-old Patricesia James, a mother of toddler twins, stemming from the search of her home which turned up 517 pounds of marijuana.

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She was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Criminal Investigations, Ian Queeley, is quoted as saying, “This most recent seizure was a result of a joint operation conducted by our officers.”

The very next day (Nov 14) police arrested four men on St. Kitts when they were caught reportedly in the midst of making a drug drop at the Irishtown Bay.

Police reported that around 3pm on Saturday, members of the SSU and Anti-Narcotic Unit were on a routine patrol along the Bay Road in Irishtown in the vicinity of the Garden Housing Project, when officers observed and monitored some “suspicious activities”.

“A blue and white motor vessel bearing the name “Pearla Negra” was observed very close to the shoreline. As the officers monitored, a person exited a car that was parked in the area, and an orange and white bucket was thrown to him by one of the two occupants on the boat.

“The person, upon receiving the bucket, ran towards the Garden’s playing field area and was pursued by the officers and caught. A search of the bucket was carried out and one kilo of cocaine with street value of ECC $89,100.00 was found in the bucket,” police reported.

The boat headed for sea and was intercepted and detained by the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard.

The occupants of the boat were Dominican Republic nationals, Rafael Chapman and Merlin Murrain Matos, who claimed they reside in Nevis. They were taken into custody.

Police continued the operation by searching the home of Bevin Taylor of Salt Pond Alley, Irishtown, the local man caught at the scene with the cocaine. That turned up 50.7 lbs with a street value ECC $380,250

Dennial Rouse was at the residence when the search was conducted and he too was taken into custody.

Chapman and Matos were subsequently charged possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and importation of cocaine.

Taylor was charged with the possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and importation of cocaine.

Rouse has been charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Patricesia James went before the magistrate court Wednesday (Nov 18) and was released on $100,000 bail with three sureties.

Rouse was on Tuesday granted $100,000 bail with two sureties.

Taylor, Chapman and Matos will go before the court for a bail hearing today, Friday (Nov 20) as police have indicated they would object to bail.

Members of the public have highlighted the disparity between the way these persons recently charged with drug possession were dealt with in the courts compared to a drug bust that occurred a few weeks prior. In that instance local men Kenrick Simmonds and Tenielle “Blaze” Percival along with Antiguan Greg Williamson were charged with various offences stemming from an Oct 1 bust that netted police 124lbs of marijuana.

While Williamson was denied bail and remanded to prison, Simmonds and Percival were granted bail in the amount of $500,000 each with two sureties, the surrender of their travel documents and they have to report to a police station every Friday.

A local law student commented that something has to be “fundamentally wrong” with the court system when an individual caught with over 500lbs of marijuana, and one caught with large quantities of cocaine and marijuana received $100,000 bail while those charged for 124lbs of weed were slapped with half a million-dollar bail

“If you look at the circumstances, none of the individuals involved have prior drug convictions. All are young citizens, some with young children. Why is there such a huge difference in the bail amounts? This demands judicial review,” the student charged.