Magistrate Karen Noel has granted bail to three of the five men who appeared before her on Wednesday morning in Sauteurs in connection with drug-related charges.
The suspects were allegedly caught in the act of trafficking a total of 171 pounds of Cannabis into the country last week Saturday.
Bail in the sum of $50, 000 each with two sureties were granted to Kevon Alexander Bishop, a 26-year-old Electrician of the Limes, Grand Anse, St. George, 30-year-old Construction Worker of Fontenoy, St George known as Avinel Antoine and Timothy Thomas, a 38-year-old shopkeeper of Frequente St. George.
The accused were represented in court by Attorney-at-Law Peter David of the law firm of Ciboney Chambers.
The Police Prosecution did not object to the granting of bail to the trio.
However, the Prosecution strongly objected to bail for co-accused Kelvin Jones, a 32-year-old General Metal Worker of Beaton, St. David and Derrick Aberdeen, a 54-year-old fisherman of Telescope, St. Andrew.
The police told the Magistrate that both men are frequently in St. Vincent and have strong connections with other neighbouring islands.
All five accused have been charged with possession and trafficking of a Controlled Drug following their detention, during a joint operation between members of the Drug Squad and Officers attached to the Gouyave Police Station in the Palmiste Beach Area of St. John.
In trying to convince Magistrate Noel not to grant bail to Jones and Aberdeen, the Police Prosecution referred to the large quantity of the illegal drugs, which carries a street value of $387,828 and expressed fears that the men would flee the country and not show up in court for the hearing.
The Prosecution told the court that they have reliable information that Jones’ mother is a resident of St. Vincent, and that though, Aberdeen is a Grenadian national, he (Aberdeen) has a wife and child residing in St. Vincent.
According to the lawmen, they have a concern that both suspects would flee the country once an opportunity arises.
Although, Jones and Aberdeen appeared without lawyers, they requested the assistance of Attorney David to put forward a bail request on their behalf.
However, the lawyer was not able to convince the Magistrate to grant them bail.
David argued that some of the allegations put forward by the Prosecution were false such as information that Jones’ mother is a resident of St. Vincent, an allegation which was later withdrawn by the Police after the lawyer informed the court that Jones’ mother is currently living in The Bahamas.
The defense attorney went on to acknowledge that Aberdeen is at a higher risk because he has significant ties in St. Vincent and suggested that a higher bail tag and very strict conditions could be imposed.
Magistrate Noel was not convinced by the arguments and denied bail to the two suspects.
Both Jones and Aberdeen were remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison at Richmond Hill, with their next Court date set for September 3.
As part of the bail conditions for Bishop, Antoine and Thomas, the Magistrate ordered them to surrender all travel documents to the Court, as well as seek permission from the Court if they wanted to travel and to report to the South St George Police Station and Central Police Station between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00p.m Mondays and Fridays, respectively.
The next court date given to those granted bail was October 6 at the Gouyave Magistrate Court in St. John.