Man charged with importing ganja twice

Quantities of approximately 50 and 100 pounds alleged

Two sets of charges of illegal landing and importing ganja were brought to court late Thursday, when Magistrate Valdis Foldats remanded Joseph St. Aubryn Hill in custody. 

Hill, 23, is accused of landing illegally and bringing with him 50 pounds of ganja on Aug. 17, and with landing illegally and importing 100 pounds of ganja on Aug. 24. 

Crown counsel Marilyn Brandt told the court that Immigration officers were conducting an operation on Aug. 27 on Farrington Lane in West Bay, where the accused was present. 

When officers inquired about his immigration status, he indicated he had arrived by boat. Questioned further, Hill said he had been fishing off Westmoreland, Jamaica, and had engine problems. His boat then drifted to Cayman. 

He was arrested and cautioned. When he was interviewed the following day, he indicated that he had arrived on Aug. 24 and that his purpose in coming here was that he was importing approximately 100 pounds of ganja. However, he said, the ganja was discarded because the boat ran out of fuel, and he wanted to get rid of the drug at sea. 

He also stated he was here on Aug. 17, at which time he imported approximately 50 pounds of ganja. That quantity was passed over to the intended recipient. 

Ms Brandt said Hill’s identity was confirmed by his passport and taxpayer identification. His passport did not have the required stamp to show he had entered Cayman legally. Checks were made with Immigration headquarters, and there were no records to show him entering by legal means.  

This information, and Hill’s admissions, resulted in the charges before the court, Ms Brandt concluded. 

The magistrate told Hill that he had a right to apply for bail but suggested that the defendant speak with an attorney first. He asked Immigration officers present if they would assist in getting a legal aid application form for Hill and they agreed. The matter was set for mention again on Tuesday, Sept. 3.