Sun | Dec 5, 2021

April 7 sentencing for man in 1,500lb weed bust

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2021 | 12:17 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

A factory worker implicated in the recent seizure of 1,500 pounds of compressed ganja at the Kingston Wharves is to be sentenced on April 7.

The offender, Jermaine Minott, was captured in video footage transporting the marijuana to the port.

The weed, which was destined for Canada, has an estimated street value of J$6.1 million.

When the case was mentioned at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday, attorney Samoi Campbell indicated that Minott was pleading guilty to possession of, dealing in, and trafficking ganja.

The 32-year-old, however, indicated that he was pleading not guilty to conspiracy to export, and aiding and abetting attempting to export ganja.

Minott is charged with five other accused in relation to the ganja bust.

Shawayne Gordon, Andrew Andrade, Phillip Henderson, Antoine Swaby and Elvis Banbury are all charged with aiding and abetting the possession of ganja, aiding and abetting, and dealing in ganja, and aiding and abetting, and attempting to export ganja.

All except Gordon were previously offered $800,000 bail. However, only Andrade and Henderson took up their bail, which was extended by Chief Parish Judge Chester Crooks.

Minott and Swaby, for whom bail was strongly opposed on the previous occasion, and the other two accused were remanded.

The prosecutor, however, informed the court that new charges are to be laid against Minott and Gordon in a similar matter that involved international partners.

According to the prosecutor, the charges should be laid by the next court date, at which time it will indicate whether it will be engaging Minott in a plea deal.

The weed, which weighed 1,516.7 pounds, was found by the police and Jamaica Customs Agency officers during a routine examination of containers at the port.

The contraband was found in 13 knitted bags and one duffle bag with 155 packages.

The men were later arrested and charged in connection with the seizure.

The court heard that Minott drove a motor car with the ganja and was allowed on the wharves by security guards Gordon and Andrade.

The men were reportedly further escorted to the container where Swaby allegedly drove a straddle carrier with the container and placed it on the ground before it was moved to another location at the port.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com