St.Kitts and Nevis Lawyers flown to Tortola to win High Profile $30.9m Cocaine Case. Quartet walks free!

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Nickel Simon and Cryton Browne and Venezuelans Wilfredo Lopez Vargas and Hober Morillo Ybarbia – who were charged with Importation of a controlled drug and Possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, namely $30.9 million, have walked out of court free men.The Venezuelans were also charged with illegal entry.The 10-day trial ended earlier today, Thursday, February 24, 2022, before Magistrate Jack Husbands.Initially, there was a no-case submission filed; however, the magistrate ruled in favour of the Prosecution, stating that there was a case to answer.However, the judgement that was handed down today, stated that the case against the four men had been dismissed. Among the reasons for the dismissal was insufficient evidence. In the meantime, the magistrate ruled that the Venezuelans had served their time at Her Majesty’s Prison, therefore no additional custodial sentence or fine was imposed on the Illegal Entry charge. AllegationsThe men were caught on October 27, 2019, following a tip received by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) that a fishing boat was docking about 20 miles north of St Croix, US Virgin Islands (USVI).The RVIPF and Her Majesty’s Customs were deployed to Virgin Gorda while the US Coast Guard led a high-speed chase of the accused men on the sea.During the chase suspected packages of cocaine were reportedly seen being hurled from the boat while it was being pursued at three different locations.The high-speed chase ended in North Sound, Virgin Gorda where the RVIPF laid in wait as the men disembarked and attempted to evade lawmen. They were captured sometime later.The lawmen then retrieved the dumped cocaine contained in 11 bales weighing some 309 kilos.Simon is a boat captain and Browne was at the time of his arrest, a Government Accountant. They were both offered $500,000 bail, with $100,000 as a cash component. The Defence attorneys included Nevisian Lawyer E. Leroy Jones who represented Vargas and Ybarbia, Kittitian Lawyer Chesley O’Neal Hamilton who represented Browne, and Simon was represented by Kittitian lawyer Jason Hamilton.

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