Four men face charges after police carried out separate searches on Friday and seized two assault rifles, a “significant amount” of ammunition, and cocaine, police said.
Omari Roberts, 27, was charged with two counts of keeping a prohibited firearm without a licence and three counts of unlawful possession of explosives, police said in a Saturday press release.
Defence attorney Stephen Daniels claimed during a Magistrates’ Court hearing on Tuesday that police first searched Mr. Roberts’ apartment in Palestina, but that search was “fruitless.”
Officers then handcuffed him and searched a nearby apartment, where they found the guns, but Mr. Roberts did not have a key to that apartment, according to the attorney’s account.
Magistrate Jack Husbands gave Mr. Roberts a bail offer of $100,000 — significantly less than the $1 million that the Crown had sought.
Separate search on Virgin Gorda
Appearing in court minutes after Mr. Roberts were three other defendants accused of possessing 2.102 kilograms of cocaine allegedly discovered during a police search of a vehicle in Fischers Lane, Virgin Gorda.
The defendants are Everette Isaac, 32; Odai Abdulsalam, 28; and Pedro Mercedes Soto, 44. They each face a charge of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another and possession of a controlled drug.
Messrs. Isaac and Abdulsalam pleaded not guilty to those two charges, while Mr. Soto pleaded guilty.
Additionally, Mr. Isaac was charged with possession of three grams of cannabis and pleaded guilty.
The Crown did not object to bail for Messrs. Isaac and Abdulsalam, who were granted bail offers of $75,000 each due to what Mr. Husbands called the “fairly large quantity of cocaine” seized. Mr. Soto is to be sentenced later.
Senior Crown Counsel Khadija Beddeau said the seizures happened after members of the police Armed Response Unit stopped the four-door Nissan March the three men were riding in.
Mr. Soto was reportedly driving, and officers detected the odour of marijuana, the attorney said. On searching the car, the officers found a green shopping bag in the back passenger’s seat that contained what appeared to be cocaine, the prosecutor added.
Mr. Soto said during a police interview that the cocaine was his and that he had come from St. Thomas in order to buy the drugs from a friend, she said. He described that friend as a “Rastafarian man he’d met on the beach sometime earlier,” Ms. Beddeau added.
Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed contributed reporting to this story.