Fri | Dec 9, 2022

Case against businessman charged for St James cocaine bust postponed

Published:Thursday | October 6, 2022 | 12:15 PM
Johnson was arrested and charged during a police operation on April 28, in which the authorities reportedly seized US$3.8 million and CAD$30,000 at a house in Coral Gardens. - File photo

The case against Oral Johnson, the businessman who was arrested in April after reportedly being held with over 19 pounds of cocaine in Coral Gardens, St James, was put off until November 1 when he appeared in the St James Parish Court Thursday.

Johnson, a 45-year-old restaurant and bar operator of a Westmoreland address, was scheduled to stand trial today on charges of possession, dealing in, taking steps to export, and trafficking of 19 pounds and 10.9 ounces of cocaine.

However, when the case was called up before Parish Judge Sasha Ashley, Johnson's attorney, Henry McCurdy, argued that he had not been given a copy of a requested DNA report which was needed to complete the defence's file.

“We are five months into this case, and the order was made [for the DNA report] and it was not done. We think it is not fair for our client to go to trial without the DNA being done,” said McCurdy.

The court was subsequently told that arrangements were to be made for Johnson to be swabbed in order to compare his DNA with samples which were reportedly taken from the confiscated cocaine.

Judge Ashley then set the case for mention on November 1 and extended Johnson's bail to that date.

Johnson was arrested and charged during a police operation on April 28, in which the authorities reportedly seized US$3.8 million and CAD$30,000 at a house in Coral Gardens.

- Christopher Thomas

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