By Artesia Davis
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- A Dominican led police to the site where he had buried 140 kilos of cocaine, a court in The Bahamas heard on Tuesday.
Jose Cabrera, 44, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Sean Pratt, 41, of the Turks and Caicos Islands, appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell charged in connection with a $2.5 million seizure.
Cabrera and Pratt are accused of conspiring to possess the drugs at North West Cay, off Great Inagua, on August 30, and drug possession with intent to supply.
Cabrera alone is charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and importation of cocaine.
Cabrera speaks little English, but the court co-opted attorney Jairam Mangra who previously worked as a Spanish lecturer to translate after the interpreter failed to show up.
Cabrera pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him. Pratt denied the allegations.
According to the prosecutor, police took up surveillance on the cay from August 29 after receiving information. The officers watched as four persons approached on a go-fast boat on August 30. Two men came on the cay and the others left.
The officers arrested the men and searched the cay but did not find anything. The prosecutor said the suspects were taken to the police station at Inagua, but the officers returned to the cay with Cabrera who showed them an area.
Based on information provided by Cabrera, the officers unearthed six crocus sacks of cocaine.
During an interview conducted with the help of a Spanish interpreter, Cabrera told investigators that he had buried the drugs several months earlier because he had encountered bad weather on a previous journey.
Cabrera said his boss sent him to the Turks and Caicos and he came to the cay to retrieve the drugs.
Cabrera accepted most of the prosecutor’s version of events. However, he disputed that he was to be paid $7,000 and he said he did not know that he had buried the drugs in Bahamian territory.
Magistrate Bethell adjourned the matter to September 12 to allow Cabrera a chance to speak with a representative for his country’s consulate.
Cabrera and Pratt were remanded into custody until then.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian