Men charged with drug trafficking

| 09/01/2009

(CNS): Following the seizure of a 38-foot, two-engine canoe carrying 385 pounds of ganja last week, police say they have charged four men with importation of ganja, possession with intent to supply and possession. Ian Linwall Johnson, 56; Cornell Alfonso Powell, 50; Arick Ren Williams, 19 and Shane William Junior McLean, 19 all appeared in court this morning. Police also said that two new marine enforcement vessels arrived today which will be used to help in further drug busts.

Police said that the men were arrested during an operation involving officers from the Drugs Task Force, Marine Unit, Uniformed Support Group as well as Air Support through the use of the helicopter.  During the coordinated operation, police, customs and immigration officers aboard Cayman Defender, the newest addition to the Marine Unit fleet, intercepted the canoe on the water.

The vessel was carrying four men and 385 pounds of ganja. The four men were all arrested and both the drugs and the boat were seized. “This is a great way for the Drugs Task Force and the Maine Unit to start 2009 and should act as a warning to others who are involved in the importation of illegal goods,” said Superintendent Kurt Walton. “Our ability to detect and intercept the movement of prohibited items has been greatly boosted by the addition of Defender to the Marine fleet which is set to be boosted still by two more fast interceptor vessels in the very near future. We are more equipped than ever to tackle drug and gun crime and everyone involved in these trades should be concerned.”

The new boats, two 38-foot fast interceptor vessels are the second and third additions to the fleet following the arrival of Cayman Defender in September and are part of a government investment package into border protection worth approximately CI$7.7 million dollars.  Police said that the package includes four new vessels and a state of the art marine base to be built at the end of Hirst Road in Newlands to house customs, police and immigration officers.

The first step to launching the new boats into Cayman waters will be taken on Monday, when Marine Unit officers commence an intense one-week training course with Safe Boats International, the manufactures of the vessels. Covering topics such as boat construction, engine installation and maintence, electronic system management, hull repair and boat maintence, the course will ensure the boats are used to the best of their ability.

“This specialist training will ensure that the vessels, and the Marine Unit, reach their full potential,” said Superintendent Mike Needham, who has led the Marine expansion project for the last few years. “Once they are on thewater, there is little doubt that they will have an immediate effect on drugs and firearms trafficking.”

The Marine Unit has been growing in strength and effectiveness over the last two years and the fourth and final addition to the Marine Fleet, a 65-foot all purpose patrol boat is expected to arrive in Cayman in the coming weeks.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    what they going do with the canoe can you save it for me please lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    385 pounds of ganja, the RCIP should follow the money. I will bet that none of the people who were arrested were the ones that paid for that ganja.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I CAN’T BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE STILL GETTING ARRESTED FOR CONSUMING OR SELLING GANJA!

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done task force on your recent drug bust .My WISH for 2009 is that we get Mr Haines back in charge of the drug task force.Now that my GOVERNMENT  has given so much money for them to purchase all the equipment they need to do there jobs properly .May they NEVER be taken off to be security guards again .We have many  security companys on island doing that job offering ALL forms of security eg: dogs ,24hr guards .electronic systems great and small to fit your need .Keep up the good work task force keep busting .