From the Courts
July 23, 2010
Trinidadians nabbed in major drug bust

Two Trinidadians are said to be warded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital nursing gunshot wounds,{{more}} two more are on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison awaiting trial, two others were deported, while a seventh Trinidadian has been fined $25,750.

Roger Noel and Henley McKenzie appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday July 21 and pleaded not guilty to possession of 345,834 grams (762 pounds) of cannabis at Troumaca Bay on July 19, 2010.

The matter was adjourned to September 23 for hearing and transferred to the Serious Offences Court.

The duo also pleaded not guilty to attempting to export the drug.

The men were also jointly charged with Steve Madina, 22, fisherman, Francis Marshall, 28, and Phillip Gorwin for entering the state without consent of the immigration authorities. All of the men pleaded guilty to the charge and a deportation order was made against them.

Drug charges were also brought against Marshall, Madina and Gorwin for possession of 50 pounds (22,700 grams) cannabis on July 19, 2010, at Trois Loup Bay at Troumaca.

Gorwin pleaded guilty and the charges were withdrawn against Marshall and Madina.

Senior Magistrate Donald Browne fined Gorwin $25,750 to be paid forthwith or spend two years in prison.

Information surfacing at the court stated that at about 10am, on July 19, Coast Guard officers were on maritime patrol duties when they received certain information. Upon receiving that information, the Coast Guard vessel travelled to the leeward side of the island to Chateaubelair, where a vessel was spotted.

The court heard that the vessel sped away when Coast Guard officers signalled the occupants to stop the vessel. A chase ensued and two parcels were thrown overboard.

SEARCHLIGHT also understands that during the chase, gunfire was opened, resulting in two of the Trinidadians, who have not yet been identified, being shot in their legs.

Shortly after the boat was apprehended, it was taken back to the spot where the parcels were thrown overboard. The parcels were found to contain cannabis.