Lester Rabbit DeCastro (left) and Isaac Caena appearing in court on November 3.
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
The two men nabbed in the November 2011 drug seizure are yet to face a trial with another adjournment granted on Friday, October 12.
BVIslander Lester 'Rabbit' DeCastro, 42 of Greenland and Dominican Republic native, Isaac Caena, 43, are charged in relation to the drug bust following a high-speed chase at sea near Jost Van Dyke (JVD) on Tuesday, November 1. They are charged with conspiracy to import cocaine, importation of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
When the matter was called on Friday, the court heard that DeCastro's lawyer, Corrine George was seeking an adjournment in the matter.
Prosecutor Valston Graham said he had no objections to the request; however, he asked that it be placed on record that the crown was in a position to start, noting that three of their witnesses were present in court.
Meanwhile, Caena, who is represented by Attorney-at-law Patrick Thompson, complained to the court that he is on medication, but it has been ten days since he received any medication. The accused was advised to speak to his lawyer.
DeCastro is on bail while Caena is on remand.
The trial date for the case was set for December 4.
It is alleged that on Tuesday, November 1 around 1:30 pm, police received information from authorities in Dutch St. Maarten that two persons aboard a vessel had left that jurisdiction with what authorities suspected to be illegal substance. As a result, customs boat 'Midnight' and police vessel 'Defender' were launched to intercept the vessel.
Around 3:45 pm, lawmen spotted a vessel off Anderson Point in Brewers Bay and the vessel looked similar to the one that the Dutch St. Maarten authorities described.
According to Prosecution, the officers attempted to intercept the 30-foot power boat, but they observed that it swerved into Little Harbour, JVD and they lost the vessel briefly.
It is alleged that the officers followed the vessel and on approach, the vessel sped off in the westernly direction. The officers pursued and it finally stopped off West End Point, JVD.
The officers then approached the vessel and they met DeCastro, who was the captain and Caena onboard the vessel.
It is the crown's case that when the officers were approaching the boat, DeCastro was seen on a cell phone, but he threw it into the sea before they reached him.
Prosecutor Graham had stated that the officers searched the boat and the men, but found nothing illegal found on them. He said while searching the vessel, the officers observed that the hatch of the boat was opened.
Police returned to the area where they first spotted the boat maneuvering and there they found 14 brick like packages and 3 black bags containing pellets suspected to be cocaine in the water.
Graham said police stated that there was no other vessel seen in the area, entering or leaving, besides the one the defendants were onboard.
At the time, the men were shown the items and they denied any knowledge. Then on Wednesday, November 2, customs K-9 along with its handler carried out a search on the boat and it is alleged that the K-9 gave two positive indication at two locations onboard the boat - the area of the hatch and the centre of the boat.
Graham said police then carried out a further search in the same area where they found the first set of drugs at sea and this time they found three additional blocks of what is suspected to be cocaine in blue bags. They men also denied knowledge of this set of drugs.
He told the court that the police had carried out the first search at sea some twenty minutes after they nabbed the men.
Graham also mentioned in court that the boat has a registration number, but it was erased.