Bail denied for pair charged with possessing 200 pounds of ganja

Crown assesses street value at over $200,000

Bail was denied on Wednesday afternoon for a man and a woman charged with possession and possession with intent to supply over 200 pounds of ganja.

Eduardo Swaby Gutierrez, 32, and Leonela Pedroza, 29, appeared before Magistrate Grace Donalds, who remanded them in custody until Sept. 14.

Attorney John Furniss had applied for bail on behalf of Swaby, explaining that his client owned a business in West Bay and it would suffer if he were remanded.

Attorney Martha Rankine said Pedroza worked as a bartender at a premises on Seven Mile Beach; if she did not go to work that afternoon she would lose her job, with which she supported her family in Colombia.

Crown counsel Eleanor Fargin objected to bail.

She noted that Swaby was also charged with possession of criminal property – some $7,000, of which $4,000 was in CI and the rest in US. Mr. Furniss said the money was from Mr. Swaby’s shop.

The defendants were arrested on Monday, Sept. 5, after police went to a West Bay address where Swaby and Pedroza lived. Officers smelled ganja and, in a locked room, found five suitcases and two smaller canvas bags, all packed with ganja.  Twenty cases of quart-size jars were in the kitchen along with digital scales, Ms. Fargin said.

Weight of the illegal substance was over 200 pounds and the street value was over $200,000, she told the court.

For the full story, please see Friday’s Cayman Compass.