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Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Police instructed to drop case against Customs Officer charged in 400k drug bust

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today gave instructions to the police prosecution department withdraw the case against Al Antonio because of insufficient evidence.

Antonio, was arrested and charged possession of 40 pounds of Cannabis, possession with intent to transfer, being concerned in the supply of the drug, importation of the drug and drug trafficking in July, 2020 after the contraband was seized during a joint exercise between the Police Narcotics Division and the Customs and Excise Division.

The customs officer first appeared in before a Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in the St. John’s Magistrates’ court in July where his lawyer, Wendel Robinson alleged that there was a conspiracy in the police investigation because the broker who was found in possession of the drugs was not charged and declared that there is no evidence against his client.

The Magistrate had adjourned the matter to allow for proper disclosure of the case file.

The case was then adjourned on three subsequent occasions to allow the police to complete the file and then for the DPP to speak with the investigator in the matter.

But after meeting with the investigator, the DPP wrote a letter instructing the police to withdraw the case, which they did this afternoon.

The missive stated that the evidence is “woefully insufficient” and continued to explain that “there is no evidence that the barrel containing the cannabis was packed and shipped from the US by the accused…there is no evidence capable of establishing a conspiracy between the person named on the barrel and the accused to export or import cannabis from the US [and] there is no evidence capable of establishing possession on the part of the accused.”

Furthermore, the DPP admitted that the conduct of the Old Runway man was suspicious but “suspicious conduct alone is not sufficient in law.”

The matter was therefore dismissed since there is “no reasonable prospect of conviction.”

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