The two men who were nabbed during a major drug bust in the waters of the British Virgin Islands on the night of February 2 appeared before the Magistrate’s Court today and were remanded in custody.
Twenty-four year-old Leshaughn Smith and 22-year-old Tarik Aaron were both charged with possession of a controlled drug.
The prosecution also alleged that they intended to supply the 24 kilograms of cocaine found. It has a street value of $24 million.
The two accused were held after allegedly making a frantic attempt at sea to elude members of the BVI Customs as well as the US Customs and Border Patrol, who conducted the operation after spotting a vessel in the waters shortly before 10pm.
The accused were traveling in a 30-foot Renegade speed boat captained by Aaron, the prosecution claimed.
When the fleeing boat was eventually stopped, parcels with cocaine were spotted in the water about seven feet away.
According to the prosecution, the boat with the two accused was the only one seen in the waters at the time.
When it was searched, law enforcers allegedly found two straps from a ‘OneMart’ bag.
A ‘OneMart’ bag without straps was also found at sea with cocaine, the prosecution further claimed.
Smith and Aaron, who were subsequently arrested and charged, have denied knowledge of the cocaine found.
Aaron, in the meantime, stated that he knew nothing about the bag straps allegedly discovered on the boat.
Magistrate Ayana Baptiste-DaBreo, who presided over the case today, ordered that both men be remanded in custody.
They will next face the court on May 6.
Smith, in the meantime, has a different drug-related case in the court. He was on bail regarding that matter in which he is accused of shipping marijuana into the territory.
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