A cocaine case that started in 2015 almost concluded on Friday, when four men were scheduled to be sentenced for their various roles in a conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.
One of the men, however, did not show up, so Justice Michael Wood issued a warrant for the arrest of the missing man, Ian Neil Duncan.
Mr. Duncan was found guilty of four charges in November 2017, after trial by jury. The other defendants in that trial, Wayne Carlos Myles and Ukel Fernandez Dixon, were found guilty of one charge each. Another defendant, Robert Cialon, initially pleaded not guilty but then changed his pleas before the November trial.
These three appeared in court Friday and received their sentences of imprisonment.
The central figure in the conspiracy appeared to be Alexander Adrian Ebanks. In October 2015, police with a search warrant found a substantial quantity of cocaine in the apartment he shared with a woman.
Mr. Ebanks had two cellphones and when these were analyzed, more than 438 communications were noted and 56 individual customers were identified. After further investigation, police brought charges against the woman, Mr. Ebanks and seven other men. Most of the illegal transactions occurred between July and October, 2015.
The Crown’s case was that Mr. Ebanks was “a retailer, rather than a wholesaler, with a substantial client base.” In general, the “clients” purchased their drugs from Mr. Ebanks to share with friends or sell onward for profit or to fund their own habits.
In August 2016, Mr. Ebanks pleaded guilty. The maximum sentence in Cayman for conspiracy is 10 years. With a tariff of eight years, Mr. Ebanks received a discount for his guilty pleas and was sentenced to serve a total of six and a half years.
Two other men pleaded guilty at that early stage and they received sentences of 28 months each. The woman was sentenced to nine months. One man charged with conspiring with Mr. Ebanks to import cocaine was found not guilty after trial.
The four men scheduled for sentencing last week were originally meant to be dealt with in February, but some of the social inquiry reports were not ready and the matters were adjourned.
Attorney Alice Carver, representing Mr. Cialon, said he had turned his life around, had engaged in community service, and was recently recognized for his volunteer work with a local charity.
Justice Charles Quin had indicated a sentence of 34 months last year when Mr. Cialon entered his guilty pleas. Justice Wood said the mitigation he heard was something Justice Quin had not been aware of; if he had, his indicated sentence would have been much lower. He then passed a sentence of 24 months, but declined to suspend it.
The judge imposed a sentence of three years on Mr. Myles but gave credit of 354 days for time in custody on remand and curfew restrictions.
Attorney Nicholas Dixey described Ukel Dixon as having the lesser role of a deliveryman, collecting drug orders from Mr. Ebanks and taking them to the customers over a period of a month. He advised the court that Mr. Dixon had eight children to support and a close relative who was seriously ill.
The judge said he was sorry to hear about the relative’s illness, but he found nothing to mitigate the sentence and he imposed three years.