Two men charged for 692 pounds of ganja

Three others in custody for illegal landing

Two men charged with importing 692 pounds of ganja appeared in Summary Court on Monday.

Yoandy Swaby Ebanks, 36, was scheduled to return later that afternoon so that attorney Jonathon Hughes could apply for bail on his behalf. Mr. Ebanks is from West Bay.

The second man, Terry Wright, is a Jamaican national and defense attorney Richard Barton said he was not applying for bail until he received papers in the case and discussed the matter with his client.

The two were arrested by the Joint Marine Unit early Thursday, Jan. 25, near Uncle Bob Road in West Bay.

Mr. Ebanks is also charged with human smuggling, while Mr. Wright, 39, is charged with illegal landing.

Three other men, all Jamaicans, also appeared in Summary Court on Monday. They have been charged with illegal landing, but Crown counsel Darlene Oko said their matter was being actively investigated, with “air support” material being looked at. The men were arrested in Cayman Brac on Friday, Jan. 26.

A press release issued by police that day stated that officers of the Joint Marine Unit had come upon two vessels “acting suspiciously” in the vicinity of the Big Channel entrance to North Sound around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday. One of the vessels made off to sea. It was believed that this was the vessel that was found in Cayman Brac on Friday.

The men were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the importation of ganja, but in court their only charges were illegal landing. They are Andre Robinson, 33; Nicholas Maxam, 30; and O’Shane Ricketts, 29.

Defense attorney John Furniss said the reason the men were in Cayman Brac was because of the weather “rather than any suggestion that they were around the Cayman Islands for any ganja purposes.” He suggested that the men be brought to court on Tuesday, so he and Mr. Hughes could know if the Crown had any evidence pertaining to ganja.

That was when Ms. Oko referred to forensic evidence and “air support” material that was still being looked at.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats pointed out that the men were here illegally in any event. “They’re not going anywhere either way,” he said.

The usual sentence for illegal landing is a period of custody, he noted.

He told the defendants: “You are in custody because you have no legal right to be in the Cayman Islands.”

He agreed to have the men appear in court on Tuesday, via video link.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now