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American businessman held in Navy Island ganja bust freed

Published:Friday | December 6, 2013 | 2:12 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The American man who was arrested in connection with the seizure of 400 pounds of compressed ganja at Navy Island in April has been freed.

Forty-nine-year-old Florida businessman Booton Harndon was found not guilty by Resident Magistrate Marjorie Moyston in the Portland Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Harndon, who was represented by attorneys-at-law Ravil Golding and Norman Manley, made a no case submission.

It was alleged that on April 22 a police team was on parole at Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio when two men were spotted in a small boat near Navy Island.

The police reportedly said they saw a white man and a black man.

The police said they gave chased but the men abandoned the boat and escaped.

The police said they went to Navy Island and found bags of compressed ganja weighing 400 pounds and a US passport bearing the name of the accused.

The accused was held the following day in Kingston and taken back to Portland.

The police said they searched a yacht which the American businessman used to travel to Jamaica but  found nothing.

Harndon’s lawyers argued that the identification evidence was weak and further contended that no passport was taken from the small vessel but was taken from the yacht.

They further argued that it was night and there was no evidence that the police had identified the accused man in the small boat.

RM Moyston said having reviewed the evidence and the relevant law she found the accused man not guilty.


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