The men making their way to the Magistrate's court, April 17, 2012
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The four men allegedly caught with a loaded firearm and over 200 grams of cannabis in West End during a Police stop and search operation in April will face a trial next month.
The occupants of the blue Mitsubishi motor vehicle were the driver, Chaim Todman, 32, of Johnson Ghut and passengers, Jose Miguel Christopher, 28, of Long Look; Shaun Williams, 31, of Purcell Estate; and Mustafa Claxton, 26, of Free Bottom.
During a court appearance today, September 7 before Senior Magistrate Valerie Stephens, both the defense and prosecution agreed to start the trial on October 19.
Claxton and Todman are being represented by Attorney-at-Law Herbert McKenzie, while Miguel and Williams are represented by Patrick Thompson.
All four men are charged with conspiracy to import cannabis [260 grams], unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to supply, carrying an unlicensed firearm [.40 glock pistol hand gun] and possession of explosives [4 rounds of ammunition].
Claxton, Williams and Christopher are also charged with importation of a firearm, importation of explosives and illegal entry.
The men have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and are all on bail.
It is alleged that members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force on surveillance around 8:25 pm on Sunday, April 15, observed Claxton in the area of Soper's Hole on his 20-foot boat where he headed in a westerly direction. Around 9:00 pm, the same boat was observed turning back to Soper's Hole with three persons onboard including Claxton.
The boat then docked at the mariner and it was loaded by the passengers. Police said based on information, Claxton contacted Todman via phone. The men then entered a vehicle which was driven by Todman.
Police kept them under close observation and they headed in an easterly direction. The marked Police vehicle followed the jeep; however, the vehicle turned around and headed in the opposite direction. At this time, Police decided to give chase and the vehicle was stopped.
It is further alleged that when the vehicle stopped, an unknown male person exited the vehicle and ran. Police then gave chase, but did not apprehend the person.
A search was then conducted on the vehicle and the firearm was found on the floor behind the passenger seat along with cannabis and a bullet proof vest. The ammunition was in the firearm and one was in the breach, according to Police.
The street value for the cannabis is $2,600.00.
During an audio/visual interview, Todman told Police that sometime earlier that day, he asked Claxton if he could take him to St. Thomas on Monday for his medical appointment and Claxton agreed. He said later that day he received a text from Claxton for him to pick him [Claxton] and his friend up at the marina.