Elroy Gerald OKeiffe on April 19, 2012.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Elroy Gerald OKeiffe has pleaded guilty in connection with the seizure of $100,000.00 worth of cocaine found at his home; however, his lawyer intends to challenge the method used by police to estimate the street value of the drugs.
Okeiffe, 26 of Johnson's Ghut had previously pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine with intent to supply involving 1.05 kilograms of cocaine. However, today September 26, he changed his plea to guilty.
Attorney-at-law Richard Rowe asked that the court grant an adjournment for him to make the character witnesses available. He also noted that they will be challenging one aspect of the facts that were presented in court regarding the street value of the drugs.
Rowe said the $100,000.00 is an incredible number for 1.05 kilograms of cocaine. He said no doubt he is not in the trade, but from being in several drug cases before the court, there is no way that amount of drugs can reach that value.
Magistrate Tamia Richards said they can hold a hearing in relation to the defence's concerns where the police officer will be called to testify how he came up with the figure and the defence can also call their own expert. Following this, she will make a decision.
The Magistrate was also provided with a copy of the certificate showing that the purity of the drugs is 91.3 percent.
The matter will come up again on October 30.
According to court records, on April 18 around 9:30 am, Police executed a search warrant at Okeiffe's residence where he is the sole occupant.
The search started at 9:35 am and ended around 11:07 am and during the search, a drug testing kit was found in his clothing drawers and a plastic bag containing a dog food box was found hidden under some clothing. In the box was a large quantity of white powdery substance, suspected to be cocaine.
During further search, the police found electronic scales on top of the fridge and two white plastic bags with white powdery substance. Okeiffe told police that it was sugar and flour.
In relation to the substance found in the dog food box, he told Police he found it by his boat and with regards to the scale, he said he uses them to weigh medicine.
According to court records, during an audio/visual police interview, Okeiffe said on Monday, April 16 he visited his boat at Baughers Bay to carry out maintenance work and while he was cleaning weeds around the boat, he saw a package wrapped in a plastic bag on the ground. He said being curious, he looked in the bag and he saw another plastic bag wrapped in a milk bone biscuit dog food box and it contained a white block of substance.
Okeiffe told police that he suspected the package to be cocaine and he decided to take the package home to conduct inquiries. Following inquiries, he was certain that it was cocaine and he had intentions of giving it to a friend without any money being exchanged.
When asked about the drug kit, he said he found them several years ago on a friend's boat.
Okeiffe told police that he was foolish to take the drugs.