ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The two brothers arrested following a major drug bust in Balsam Ghut, Tortola, on Friday, November 6, 2020, were denied bail when they made a first appearance at the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, November 10, 2020.
Belongers Mr Leston Davis, 40, a former police officer and a resident of Tortola and Mr Darren Davis, 41, also a resident of Tortola and a police officer in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), are jointly charged with 3 counts of Possession of Illegal Drugs with Intent to Supply; 1 count of Keeping a Firearm Without a License and 1 count of Possession of a Prohibited Firearm.
The charges for Possession of Illegal Drugs with Intent to Supply are for 23.70 kilos found in a red Ford Explorer; 159.04 kilos found in a white Bedford truck, and 2170.84 kilos found in a container.
The two loaded firearms, a Glock Taurus with magazine and one MWG Rifle with one magazine, were allegedly found in a black garbage bag in the container where the drugs were found.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Tiffany R. Scatliffe-Esprit said the bust and arrests were made following ongoing investigations on drug smuggling operations in the territory.
She said on Nov 6, 2020, the special investigations unit conducted an operation at Balsam Ghut at the property owned by the mother of the two accused.
Officers surrounded the area from a far distance and were looking on for hours before moving in with a search warrant.
The men being observed fled the scene; however, by running into nearby bushes.
The drugs and firearm were found following a search.
One of the vehicles observed being used by one of the men who fled was found to be registered to the mother of the Davis brothers. Both license and registration were expired.
A rental vehicle left behind by the men was also searched and a bunch of keys found. When police obtained information about the renter they visited the home of the individual who was not at home at the time but they key found in the rental vehicle opened the house doors, and also opened the container where cocaine was allegedly found at Balsam Ghut.
The name of the individual was not disclosed.
When police traced the owner of the Bedford truck he told police he was a good friend of Leston Davis and had lent him the truck the day prior to dispose of garbage. He said he learnt of the drug bust the following day and when he called Mr Lison Davis his phone went unanswered.
According to the Prosecution, police visited the Pockwood Pond home of Leston Davis on November 8, 2020, and arrested him. They said Liston, a boat captain of a fast ferry service who has resided in the Territory for more than 30 years, has refused to cooperate with police.
Officer Darren was arrested at his home in Cane Garden Bay on Monday, November 9, 2020. He told police that on the day in question he was bar hopping and had no knowledge of the operation.
Leston Davis, who was dismissed from the RVIPF some years ago, according to information revealed in court, was represented by Attorney Mary Lou Creque, who said her client had no previous incidents with the law and requested bail on several grounds, including that Davis was not a flight risk.
Officer Darren was represented by Reynella Rawlins, who said a police is not usually a liked individual in prison and his safety could be jeopardised.
Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin; however, said there have been many instances prior where police imprisoned had seen special arrangements put in place to ensure their safety and that similar can be done in this case.
The DPP had said should the magistrate consider bail it should amount to 10% of the net worth of guns and drugs.
Magistrate Benjamin noted; however, that there was nothing she could put in place to guarantee the two returning to court, considering that they had access to such large quantity of drugs and dangerous firearms and she had no doubt they have access to other means to flee the jurisdiction even if they were required to surrender travel documents.
She also said bail could hinder the investigations as there are still a number of known individuals at large.
The two men will return to court on January 27, 2021, for report.