Hundreds of pounds of ganja were seized at sea in the March 18 operation. - Photo: RCIPS

Three  men charged with the importation of more than 800 pounds of ganja appeared in Summary Court on Thursday in preparation for a case management hearing.

Dalton Alphonso Wright, Xavier Shane Watson and Malson Campbell, all Jamaican nationals, were arrested on March 18 following an encounter with police approximately 11 miles off East End.

Crown counsel Darlene Oko told the court Thursday that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has completed the drug certificates associated with the arrest. Oko said that she believed the certificates could be conveyed to the defence counsels by the end of the business day on Thursday.

Oko also told Magistrate Grace Donalds that the Crown will be amending the charge to reflect the weight of drugs. The packages of ganja seized by the police were first weighed at 900 pounds, but Oko said that should be amended to 810 pounds in light of the completed drug certificates.

Oko also explained to the court that many of the packages had been thrown in the sea and fished out by the police. She asked the court for a motion to destroy the evidence prior to trial.

The court will hear arguments from the Crown and defence counsels on the forfeiture application on April 18.

Magistrate Donalds also set a case management hearing for the case on April 25.

The three men remain remanded in custody.

Wright is represented by Dennis Brady, and Watson is being defended by Prathna Bodden. The third defendant, Campbell, is being represented by Oliver Grimwood. Watson is also charged with reckless and negligent acts and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence.

A police press release regarding the incident indicated that officers of the Joint Marine Unit spotted a suspicious vessel around 6:30 a.m. on March 18 and engaged in a pursuit when it would not stop.

Police said the suspects were allegedly seen throwing packages overboard that were later recovered, and officers discharged a service weapon after one of the suspects allegedly threatened them with a firearm.

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