Categorized | National News

Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges, Co-Accused Maintain Innocence

One of three men arrested in connection with that nearly million dollar drug bust in waters near Andros last week pleaded guilty to drug charges while his co-accused maintained their innocence in court Friday.

Pedro Brown, 45, Raymond Bain, 40, and Jacob Curtis 34, are charged with possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, importation of dangerous drugs and conspiracy to import dangerous drugs.

The trio is also accused of causing $17,000 in damages to a police Avenger vessel.

The men appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney in Court No. 1 where Brown alone pleaded guilty to all charges with the exception of causing damage.

Bain and Curtis entered not guilty pleas to all counts.

According to police, the men were observed on a vessel with two outboard engines during a routine patrol by officers in waters between Cargill Creek and Fresh Creek, Andros around 5:45 a.m., last Wednesday.

When officers tried to approach the vessel by first turning on their vessel’s lights and sirens and identifying themselves as officers, the suspects allegedly attempted to flee.

During their attempted evasion, the suspects allegedly “rammed their boat against the officers’ vessel.”

However, police were eventually able to contain the suspects’ boat and upon making their way onto the vessel, officers found several crocus sacks and taped packages containing marijuana.

The three men were subsequently arrested and the drugs confiscated.

Police Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Ercell Dorsett said the drugs weighed an estimated 853 pounds and carry an estimated wholesale value of $853,000. He noted that the drugs’ retail value could be worth twice as much.

When questioned by police following his arrest, Brown admitted to being on board the vessel and being aware that the drugs were on board, ASP Dorsett said.

He also said Brown informed police that the drugs were collected from another vessel out at sea and were en route to Andros.

Brown corroborated ASP Dorsett’s account but insisted he did not cause damage to the police’s vessel.

Attorney Roger Gomez who represents Bain and Curtis acted as amicus of the court for Brown and asked the magistrate to take into consideration Brown’s confession and the fact that he did not waste the court’s time asking the magistrate to impose the minimum sentence of four years in prison.

He also told the court that Brown has four children and by confessing to his involvement in this incident has demonstrated remorse.

While Magistrate McKinney noted Brown’s early confession and guilty plea, he said it could not be overlooked that the charges against him are “very serious” and noting the drug problem that exists in society, though he maintained he was not blaming Brown for that problem, the amount of drugs found in his possession adds to this ongoing problem.

He imposed a sentence of four years imprisonment for each charge in addition to a $25,000 fine or an additional year in prison for the conspiracy to import dangerous drugs charge.

Brown’s sentence is to run concurrently.

The men are due to return to court on June 19 for trial.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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