Thu | Jan 27, 2022

Fishermen charged for $1 billion cocaine bust in St Elizabeth granted bail

Published:Thursday | December 2, 2021 | 1:07 PM
Daniel Hanson, 40, who is of a St Elizabeth address, 31-year-old Jason Wedderburn and 36-year-old Elvis Johnson, both of Westmoreland addresses, were ordered to return to court on March 3, 2022.

The three fishermen charged in connection with the seizure of over 2,000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Black River, St Elizabeth were today each granted $1 million bail in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.

Daniel Hanson, 40, who is of a St Elizabeth address, 31-year-old Jason Wedderburn and 36-year-old Elvis Johnson, both of Westmoreland addresses, were ordered to return to court on March 3, 2022.

As part of their bail conditions, the men are to report to the police twice per week.

A stop order has also been imposed by the court.

The men are represented by attorneys Christopher Townsend, Martyn Thomas and Michael Hemmings. 

It is being alleged that about 9:00 p.m. on November 22, members of the Jamaica Defence Force's (JDF) Maritime, Air and Cyber Command Unit intercepted a boat in which the three defendants were travelling off the coast of Black River.

The boat was searched and 34 knitted bags with packages of a white substance resembling cocaine.

The police said that the drug has an estimated street value of $1 billion.

The men and the packages were taken to shore and handed over to the Narcotics Police.

Hanson, Wedderburn, and Johnson were subsequently charged with possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine, trafficking cocaine, importing cocaine, and conspiracy to import cocaine.

The arrest took place four days after the JDF Coast Guard sought to step up its presence in the maritime space in an effort to repel trafficking of drugs and weapons and illicit fishing in Jamaican waters.

- Christopher Thomas

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