One man appeared in Summary Court on Thursday in connection with the ganja reportedly offloaded at Smith Barcadere earlier this week.
The defendant, Franklin Alexander Hinds, was charged with possession of 623 pounds of ganja with intent to supply. He was advised of his right to speak to an attorney for free and then apply for legal aid. Defense counsel Neil Kumar appeared for him at this early stage and the defendant was not asked to say anything.
Police issued a press release about the incident on Wednesday, saying five males had been arrested.
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards attended court for the Crown. She advised Magistrate Valdis Foldats that matters were still at a preliminary stage. For example, there was a GPS to be examined, as well as phones, she indicated.
The magistrate said he was very impressed with the size of the disclosure bundle – the papers in the case for the defendant to read and see the case against him. He commended the officers in the matter and the DPP’s office for getting it prepared so quickly, since the incident had occurred on June 19.
Ms. Richards said there was likely to be more information and she agreed to send it to Mr. Kumar.
The next mention was set for July 10.
Neither she nor anyone else made mention of any other person being charged. Approached afterward, Ms. Richards said only, “Investigations are ongoing.”
The court file showed a Bodden Town address for Mr. Hinds and listed his age as 25.
Other people were mentioned in the police press release as being arrested on suspicion of importation of ganja. They were described by age and district – one man, 29 of West Bay; and three of George Town, ages 15, 25 and 30.
Their arrests came after officers from the Joint Marine and Air Operations Units were conducting border patrols along South Sound around 3:30 a.m. A vessel was spotted offloading packages on the beach near Smith Barcadere. Assistance was requested from land-based officers, who pursued several people along the beach area.
In addition to the drugs, a vessel and two vehicles were seized.