The five persons, including three seniors, who were busted with 25 pounds of cocaine and several ecstasy pills in a Prashad Nagar Georgetown house, were slapped with drug trafficking charges today.
Those charged are 62-year-old Lena Narine, also known as “Aunty Lena,” 60-year-old James Herbert, called “Uncle James,” 71-year-old Kay Butcher, 27-year-old Jamal Narine, called “Tunks,” and 47-year-old Surinamese National Gregory Faria.
Lena, Jamal, and Faria were represented by Attorney-at-Law Everton Singh-Lammy, while Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes represented Herbert.
Attorney-at-Laws Dexter Smart and Dexter Todd represented Butcher on the other hand.
The quintet was hauled before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, and all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The charge stated that on March 29, 2022, at Prashad Nagar Georgetown, they had in their possession 11.4 kg of cocaine for trafficking.
In addition, Lena was charged with having 266 grams of Ecstasy pills for trafficking.
Prosecutor Richard Harris told the court that at about 19:45 hrs on the day in question, ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) noticed a gold Toyota Allex motor car bearing registration number HC 577 parked in front of Lot 295 Shantiniketan Street Prashad Nagar.
Lena was seen placing a pink bag in motor car HC 577, which was allegedly 266 grams of Ecstasy pills.
The prosecutor stated that CANU ranks subsequently noticed another motorcar, PSS 4046, pulled up opposite the same address, and Herbert excited the car with a black plastic bag in his hand and went into the house, where Lena was standing at the front door.
Prosecutor Harris explained that ranks then entered the yard and into the house in which they saw Butcher, Jamal, and Faria standing inside.
While in the house, a CANU rank observed a black plastic bag on a plastic chair, and a search was conducted, during which five brown parcels with green markings were found.
The parcels were checked, and a whitish substance suspected of cocaine was seen. A field test revealed traces of cocaine, and a further search was conducted in the defendant's presence, and additional cocaine was found in a black plastic bag under three chair cushions.
The driver of PSS 4046 provided a caution statement to CANU ranks detailing his activity and involvement with the accused and the narcotics.
Further, the court heard that Herbert stated caution concerning his involvement and that of Butcher and Narine.
Attorney-at-Law Patrice Henry brought a man to court who stated that he handed Hubert the drugs.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Harris advised the man to provide such a statement to the Police Headquarters since it might be a plot for him to take the rap.
Further, Attorney-at-Law, Dexter Todd, who is representing Butcher, informed the court that his client does not live. He further contended that the statement provided by Herbert could not be used given the fact that his client was silent.
In light of this, he asked for bail in these special circumstances. Meanwhile, Attorney-at-Law Hughes said that Prosecutor Harris prejudged the situation as a plot while deeming it an “unfortunate position.”
Hughes said that two other attorneys associated with him were told that Herbert was not at CANU headquarters, which resulted in them shuffling between three police stations seeking to speak with their client.
In light of this, he contends that Herbert’s caution statement should be adequately considered in these circumstances.
Hughes stated that Herbert was contacted by a friend to carry the package and drop it off to someone else. He said his client did not check it since he was told that personal items were inside.
To this end, he said that CANU ranks came and found the narcotics in the house and not on his client.
Attorney-at-Law Singh-Lammy argued that multiple persons reside in the house, and nothing was found in his client’s quarters.
Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus noted that it is only fair that she grants the quintet bail in the given circumstances.
As such, she released Jamal, Faria, Herbert, and Butcher on $500,000 bail each, while Lena was granted $1 million bails for the two charges.
They were ordered to lodge their passports and are expected to make another court appearance on May 4, 2022.