Accused in 143-lb ganja bust proclaim innocence

Damion Williams

After both proclaiming their innocence yesterday, accused drug traffickers Vaughn Anderson and Damion Williams were told that they would learn their fates on January 31st.

Anderson and Williams were charged in December of 2017 for allegedly trafficking over 140 pounds of marijuana, which was discovered on December 24th, at Boodhoo Housing Scheme, Parika.

It is alleged that they had in their possession 65.027 kilogrammes (equivalent to 143 pounds) of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.

Appearing at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court yesterday, each man was called upon to lead a defence to the charge. They both did so through unsworn statements.

Vaughn Anderson

Anderson, in his address to the court, claimed that he was asked by Williams to keep the gas cylinder.

He recounted that on the day in question, police officers visited his home and requested to do a search of the premises. He further stated that having found nothing in the house, the police requested to search his vehicles, which he allowed. It was during this search that they found the gas cylinder in the trunk of his car and proceeded to examine it.

Anderson told the court that officers then informed him that they would need to conduct a further examination of the cylinder and that both he and the bottle would be taken to Police Headquarters at Eve Leary.

He also noted that on the way to Eve Leary, the officers stopped at a welding shop at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara and they enquired whether he had done any works on a gas bottle, to which the owner responded no.

The court also heard that at Eve Leary, officers cut open the cylinder in his presence and removed several black packets, which they later claimed contained suspected narcotics.

 “I told them where I got the cylinder from, I told them everything…two days after they took me in a room with the police and bring Damion Williams and ask me if this is the man and I said yea,” he said.

Anderson noted that he was then asked to repeat the story in Williams’ presence, which he did, after which Williams reportedly accepted that he gave Anderson the bottle.

However, Williams, in his unsworn statement, claims that he was asked to give the bottle to Anderson by a man he met at Devil’s Hole.

Williams, who is a part time boat captain, and who runs a boat service, told the court that he met the man during a trip to the area for which he had been contracted. He claims that while there a man approached him and asked him the cost to transport “something” to Parika, to which he said $30,000.

 Having agreed to the price, Williams said the man loaded the gas cylinder on to his boat and gave him a number for someone he identified as “Hard head,” who would collect it from him at Parika.

The man further told the court that after arriving at Parika, he made contact with “Hard Head” and waited for him to collect the bottle.

Williams noted that when the man arrived he recognised him from a job he did for someone else. He said with assistance from some men working on a nearby koker, the bottle was placed in Anderson’s trunk.

 The man also claimed that he and his family went to the Pomeroon to spend Christmas and that on Christmas day he received a call from a friend who informed him that the police were looking for him.

However, the friend was unable to say why the police were looking for him and so he called his landlord, who related that police had showed up at the apartment and conducted a search.

This was reportedly followed by a call from his mother on the next day. She informed him that he was being sought in connection to narcotic. As a result, Williams said he contacted his attorney and visited Eve Leary, where he was informed that he was going to be charged for trafficking of narcotics.

“I told them I don’t do drugs and I have no knowledge of what they are talking about,” he told the court.

Williams further noted that he was subjected to a confrontation with Anderson before giving a statement to the police on the matter.

“I never see back that cylinder ’til the day in court when the police bring it back. I don’t know if it’s the same cylinder of not. I am innocent of this charge,” he said.

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