Browne pleads guilty to five-year-old drugs charges

Dave Ricardo Browne, of Golden Rock, The Pine, St Michael, Monday pleaded guilty to several counts of drug possession.

Browne, who has been on remand for 1,688 days, admitted before Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius to possession, trafficking and importation of 374.2 kilogrammes of cannabis.

The illicit drugs were discovered within the territorial waters of Barbados on July 19, 2012.

Members of the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Coast Guard conducted an operation on that day, about five nautical miles off Carlisle Bay.

According to Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman, the officers received instructions that saw them following a particular course and they encountered the vessel X67 shortly after.

However, the vessel tried a series of manoeuvres in an effort to avoid being intercepted. Lawmen pursued it and it came to a halt about nine nautical miles off Needham’s Point, St Michael.

Police secured X67 to their vessel and a search was conducted in the presence of Browne and other persons, and 14 bulky packages were discovered under a tarpaulin.

Blackman told the No. 5 Supreme Court that Browne also sustained an injury to his ankle and had to be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

While at hospital on July 21, he was interviewed by police and told about their suspicion of what was in the packages.

He allegedly said: “I don’t want no lawyer. Give dem other men a brek; dem is mine.”

Browne was discharged from hospital that same day and taken to the Oistins Police Station where he was arrested and charged. However, he refused to give a written statement.

The sentencing hearing for Browne, who represented himself, continues on April 24.

A pre-sentencing report has also been ordered by the judge.

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