Barbados High Court judge Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius has ordered pre-sentencing reports into the lives of two Guyanese men who Monday pleaded guilty to several drug charges.
Coco Profitt and Paul Fraser, both Guyanese nationals, admitted to possession, trafficking and importation of 14.5 kilogrammes of cocaine and 2.0 kilogrammes of cannabis.
Attorney-at-law Samuel Legay represented the men while Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman was the prosecutor on the case.
In the facts presented to the court, Blackman revealed that police acting on information boarded the Lady Sandra boat at the Bridgetown Port on September 10, 2015, and conducted a search of the vessel after speaking with the captain. Ten packages with a white substance suspected to be cocaine, along with four packages containing vegetable matter suspected to be cannabis were found at various points on the boat.
The captain and the two men who were on the vessel were taken to the Oistins Police Station for questioning.
After the substances found were confirmed to be cocaine and cannabis, lawmen asked Profitt to account for it.
“I tek a risk and try to bring in weed and cocaine. I was trying to get some money. I am in some financial problems and I owe a lot of people money,” Profitt reportedly told lawmen at the time.
Fraser, meanwhile, simply said: “I was trying to make some money.”
In a written statement, Fraser also revealed that he boarded the Lady Sandra at Fernandez Wharf in Guyana on September 7, 2015 after receiving a telephone call from the owner who he called Vicky.
He said Vicky asked him to make the trip and take cement to Barbados.
The vessel set sail and at one point he passed through the kitchen where he saw a brown bag and three black plastic bags by a flour shelf, but he did not know what was in them at the time.
Two days later, the captain informed them that the Barbados Coast Guard would search the ship on arrival and to get rid of anything they had.
He said he went on the bridge where he worked and the cook, who he knew only as Profitt, approached him and asked him to hide something. He questioned what it was and the cook reportedly said cocaine and weed and that on reaching Barbados “he got money to give me”.
The cook then left and came back ten minutes later with the bags he had seen previously. Fraser further revealed, according to Blackman, that he and a man named Strongman looked into the bag and saw nine packages which they put under the anchor motor along with the brown bag. The other bags were hidden behind drawers in the engine room.
However, when they reached the Bridgetown Port, lawmen found the drugs when they conducted a search of the vessel.
Blackman told the court that the men were not known to the island’s justice system.
Their lawyer, Legay, told the judge he would mitigate on his client’s behalf following the delivery of the presentencing report which is expected on April 24. (Reprinted from Barbados Today)