Two men who were allegedly caught importing some 250 pounds of ganja into Cayman appeared in court on Monday, where Magistrate Valdis Foldats denied them bail and set a case management hearing for July 12.
According to Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards, police spotted the men – 38-year-old Caymanian Jonathan Moore and 24-year-old Jamaican Nickarthur Sanderson – importing the ganja on Saturday around 5:30 a.m.
At that time, police on Queen’s Highway observed through binoculars what appeared to be a handoff in the waters off the East End coast, Ms. Richards said. After the alleged handoff was complete, one of the boats came ashore while the other headed toward Jamaica, she said.
Onshore, four men were allegedly seen unloading packages from the boat. When officers shouted at the men, “Police!,” one of them fled northward and another went into the bushes, according to the prosecutor.
Ms. Richards said police caught the two defendants. Mr. Moore was determined to be the boat captain and Mr. Sanderson one of the people unloading the packages. No mention was made of the other men that were allegedly at the scene.
Mr. Moore allegedly told police that he was fishing, found some packages, “and decided to take a chance.” Mr. Sanderson, for his part, allegedly told police that he was just in the area to find a spot to fish later. In applying for bail, defense attorney Prathna Bodden said her client Mr. Moore is a Caymanian with a pregnant wife and a job.
“Court has to be minded that spacing issue [at prison] is a problem,” Ms. Bodden added.
For Mr. Sanderson, defense attorney Oliver Grimwood said his client has never been in trouble before in Jamaica or Cayman. Mr. Sanderson also was caught by police heading south, and therefore could not have been fleeing, Mr. Grimwood argued.
The attorney added that his client was “not one of the organizers” of the alleged ganja importation scheme.
However, DPP Richards opposed bail because of the seriousness of the offense – “large-scale drug trafficking” – and because there is risk that the defendants may not appear again in court.
Magistrate Foldats agreed with the prosecutor, saying that the case against both men is strong.