Four Guyanese men have pleaded guilty in the High Court to committing several drug offences.
Yagpaul Bhisundial, Berkley Crawford, Carlton LaCaille and Tito Moore have admitted to importation, possession and possession with intent to traffic 101. 02 kilogrammes of cannabis and 20.66 kilogrammes of cocaine on October 15, 2013.
Moore, Crawford and LaCaille also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, but Bhisundial denied the offence.
Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman and Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney informed Madam Justice Pamela Beckles that the Crown was not proceeding with the firearm charge against Bhisundial at this time.
However, the charge would remain on the indictment pending a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In outlining the facts of the case, Blackman said law enforcement officials had received a tip off about the pending shipment and had mounted an operation to intercept the cargo vessel, the Regina, which had left Guyana for Bridgetown.
During a subsequent search in the presence of the men, the illegal drugs and a 9mm semi automatic pistol with a magazine were found in different sections of the vessel, including the men’s assigned quarters.
They were arrested and charged after tests were conducted on the items.
Blackman further explained that though the CARICOM nationals were not known
in this jurisdiction, they had given statements to the police detailing their culpability.
Crawford, alias Sweet Man from Berbice, told lawmen at the time that someone by the name of Fat Man had received the drugs on the vessel for him and kept them until he retrieved them. He later stored them in his cabin until the vessel was intercepted.
LaCaille, of East Bank, Demerara, said he had liaised with Moore, who was the second engineer on the boat, to get the drugs transferred to another vessel when they got to the cement plant in Barbados, but they were intercepted before the transfer could be made.
Moore reported that Berkley had informed him that they would transport “some weed and cocaine . . . and a gun too”. He also told the officers he had asked Berkley what was in it for him and was told that he would receive $10,000.
“I said okay because officer I building my little house in Guyana so I help he and the rest . . . but I didn’t see no gun,” he added.
Meantime, Bhisundial, who is from Berbice, said he received a telephone call from Berkley telling him to accept “a bag of weed for him that he want to carry up to Barbados”. He reportedly told police that while he was on the vessel someone in a car brought him “a white canvas bag, something like a rice bag, and then drive and went long”. In it, he said, were a number of small packages which he stored in his locker for Berkley who later retrieved them.
The Regina boat then set sail but was intercepted a couple miles off Barbados.
Following the presentation of the facts, a pre-sentencing report was ordered on the four men, as well as a report from prison officials about their time spent on remand.
Bhisundial, who is represented by Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, and his three co-accused who have Samuel Legay as their legal counsel, will return to the No. 5 Supreme Court on May 15.