Three men appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday, all charged with importing about 900 pounds of ganja following an encounter with police approximately 11 miles off East End on Monday.

The defendants, all from Jamaica, were identified as Dalton Alphonso Wright, 44, of St. James; Xavier Shane Watson, 43, of St. Mary; and Malson Campbell, 66, from St. Ann.

As a result of the same incident, Wright by himself is charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence, namely importation of ganja. He is further charged with committing a reckless and negligent act – navigating a vessel in a manner so rash as to endanger human life or safety.

Watson is charged with making a threat to kill an officer.

No details were divulged during the brief court hearing.

Defence attorneys Dennis Brady, Prathna Bodden and Oliver Grimwood told Magistrate Valdis Foldats they were not making any bail application at this time because they had not received any papers in the case.

The magistrate asked Crown counsel Darlene Oko to serve charge sheets and a summary of facts to the attorneys by Friday, March 22.

He told the defendants that their attorneys would be getting more information about the case. He said it was early in the investigation and more information would become available as matters progressed.

He remanded them in custody until Friday, March 29.

A police press release about the incident indicated that officers of the Joint Marine Unit were on patrol when they spotted a suspicious vessel around 6:30 a.m. on Monday. The vessel refused to stop when challenged and there was an extended pursuit in open waters.

The suspects were allegedly seen throwing packages overboard and one of them was said to have threatened an officer with a firearm. Officers discharged a service weapon in response and the vessel was disabled and detained. A large number of packages that had been thrown overboard were recovered.

The press release said police had observed other firearms on board, including some that were thrown overboard during the pursuit, but this was not referred to in court.

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