Crown Counsel Eleanor Fargin told Magistrate Valdis Foldats on Tuesday that the Crown wants cocaine conspiracy charges against Fred Ollen McLaughlin to be tried in Grand Court.
Mr. McLaughlin was charged with conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to supply controlled drugs after an incident involving cocaine that washed up on an East End beach on Christmas Eve.
Defense attorney Jonathon Hughes agreed to a preliminary inquiry on Thursday, Jan. 25. The purpose of the inquiry is to find whether there is sufficient evidence to send the matter to the higher court. Conspiracy is a charge that may be tried in Grand Court or Summary Court, with both the prosecution and defense having the right to choose.
Robbery is a charge that is transmitted directly to Grand Court – there is no choice.
Marvin Grant was charged with the robbery of the cocaine – taking the 50 to 60 pounds of drugs by using force or threat of force against a security guard who was attempting to keep the packages of cocaine secure until police arrived.
Mr. Grant’s charge has already been transmitted to Grand Court and he was scheduled to appear before Justice Charles Quin on Friday, Jan. 26.
If the magistrate determines there is sufficient evidence to send the conspiracy charges to Grand Court, Mr. McLaughlin’s next appearance would be there also.