BVI News

Man says he led chase with police because he had ‘weed’ | Granted $20K bail

The Magistrate’s Court in John’s Hole, Tortola.

A British Virgin Islands man said he reversed his uninsured and unlicensed vehicle for an extended distance during police road chase because he had marijuana in his possession.

When the accused, 34-year-old Shannon John, appeared before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin on Tuesday afternoon, he pleaded guilty to Possession of a Controlled Drug, Travelling Backwards with Motor Vehicle More Than the Requisite, Failing to Stop at the Sound of a Siren, Driving an Unlicensed Vehicle and Driving an Uninsured Vehicle. 

He, however, pleaded not guilty to Reckless and Negligent Act and was subsequently granted $20,000 signed bail.

He must surrender his travel documents as part of his bail conditions.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that on May 9, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), as well as Customs and Immigration, were conducting mobile patrol duties near Fine Foods Supermarket on the eastern end of Tortola when they observed a motorcar travelling easterly without a license sticker affixed to the windshield.

The court heard that the law enforcement officers turned on their siren and lights, indicating to the driver of the vehicle to stop. However, the driver put the car in reverse in an attempt to flee.

A chase commenced between the law enforcers and the vehicle which travelled through Fat Hogs Bay and unto Little Dix Hill Road. The chase ended next to the Francis Lettsome Primary School, the court heard.

Man had cannabis in his possession

Law enforcers then proceeded to conduct a search of John and his vehicle and found 30 grams of cannabis, which has a street value of $300. 

He and another man who was travelling as a passenger in John’s vehicle were subsequently arrested.

The unnamed passenger reportedly told police in an audiovisual interview that he was “just catching a ride” with John and was unaware that drugs were in the car.

During a similar interview, John said the drug and vehicle belonged to him. He also admitted to trying to evade police because he was carrying ‘weed’.

John is unrepresented is scheduled to reappear before the court on July 8.

It is not clear whether the charges against the passenger was dropped.

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4 Comments

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  1. We are the BVI says:

    Man got to do what a man got to do. Let he alone! We locked up, have to burn a few to stay straight with the world.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  2. lawyer says:

    He should be hired for his driving skills. Driving backwards under such stress of the police on chasing you, and not crash is very skillful.

  3. Real soldiers says:

    Leave the people be,an FREE THE WEED,f*** police n this covid 19

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  4. It’s 2020 says:

    Man so the man had basically a little over an ounce? I could see if they said yow intent to sell but that just his thing to smoke during covid like you home all day you going through at the very least 3 a grams a day. He ain’t selling that. They could’ve given him a ticket like yow you had too much on you.

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