The Senior Magistrate gave the destruction order for 16 bales following last Thursday’s Special Sitting of the Magistrate’s Court at the Road Town Police Station where she inspected the content and weight of each bale, and ordered that a sample of each be retained for evidential purposes. Present at the sitting were RVIPF Special Investigations detectives, representatives from the DPP’s office, the two men charged for possession of the cocaine and their legal representative.
The two men, Didier Steevenson Triana Gomez, 22, of Venezuela and Julio Leonard Minaya Tejeda, 20, of the Dominican Republic, were also both charged with unlawful possession of prohibited ammunition under the new Firearms and Air Gun (Amendment) Act.
The two were occupants of a boat intercepted near Ginger Island in May of this year during an interdiction operation led by U.S. law enforcement agencies. A third male occupant, Serge Jacques Sylvain Tinturier, 47, born in Metz, France, was fatality wounded during that operation.
The 16 bales of cocaine were seized from the boat while the additional bale was later recovered off Norman Island. Each of the 17 incinerated bales weighed over 32 kilograms for a total of 553.36 kilograms and an approximate street value of $55.3 million.
As is customary, a member of the Police Service Commission was present to witness the destruction of the drugs.