BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THREE men, charged in connection with the October 1, 2015 Conaree Beach drug bust which resulted in the shooting-death of one man, were yesterday (Feb. 10) found guilty and collectively fined EC$390,000.
The men, Kenrick ‘Rico’ Simmonds, Tenielle ‘Blaze’ Percival (both of St. Kitts) and Greg Williamson of Antigua, appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court before Her Worship Josephine Mallalieu-Webbe and were found guilty and convicted on the charges preferred against them.
The case, which had seen several adjournments, has been ongoing since last November.
According to a WINN FM report, yesterday afternoon, Director of Public Prosecutions Valston Graham had delivered closing remarks for the prosecution, while Queen’s Counsel Dr. Henry Browne gave closing statements for Simmonds and Percival, and Jason Hamilton did the same for Williamson.
During a press briefing on the afternoon of Thursday, October 1, 2015, then Acting Commissioner of Police Stafford Liburd told media operatives that at about 5:00 that morning, members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force had conducted an intelligence-led operation on a beach in the Conaree area.
“Early this morning, members of the RSCNPF conducted an operation at a secluded beach in the Conaree area. During the operation, our officers observed a pickup truck on the beach and a speed boat approaching the shores. Upon their arrival, the two occupants of the vessel were challenged. One occupant opened fire upon our officers. Our officers, in defence, returned fire and one of the occupants was fatally wounded.
“The vessel was searched and four bails said to contain 124 pounds of compressed marijuana were discovered. The street value is approximately EC$930,000. Technicians of the Forensic Services Unit processed the scene and items of value were collected and taken into police custody for further analysis.”
Then Assistant Commissioner of Police with Responsibility for Crime, Ian Queeley, told media operatives that the deceased was aboard the vessel when he was shot and that the occupants of the pickup truck made an attempt to leave the scene but were apprehended by the police.
Liburd also said the police’s operation was aided by members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force and the Coast Guard, from which a team of divers “recovered from the ocean one loaded .380 pistol with a magazine containing four rounds of ammunition”.
The man who was aboard the vessel with Williamson and killed during the shootout with police, name was given as Obie ‘Small Breeze’ Baron of Dominica, while the name of the two men who attempted to leave the scene in the pickup truck were given as Simmonds and Percival.
According to the WINN FM report, the Court had found Percival and Williamson guilty of possession of a controlled drug, possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, and importation of a controlled drug; while Simmonds was found guilty on seven charges - importation of cannabis and aiding and abetting his co-defendants individually on their three charges.
Simmonds was convicted and fined EC$300,000 to be paid in five months. If in default, he will have to serve four years at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Percival and Williamson were also convicted. The former was fined EC$60,000 to be paid in three months or if in default serve four years in prison, while the latter was fined EC$30,000 to be paid in one month. If in default, he will be incarcerated for 23 months.