Accused Allicock confessed that bag contained cocaine
- CANU officer tells trial
By Charlene Stuart
September 12, 2000
Trenton Allicock, one of the three defendants in the car-chase drug trial, confessed that the bag he had contained cocaine but denied it belonged to him, Matthew Little, Cus-toms Anti-Narcotics (CANU) officer, testified yesterday. CANU charged Albert Vaughn, Allicock and Morris Darr with possession of 4.7508 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking after a car-chase through the city during which gunfire was exchanged on August 11.
According to the prosecution's witness, at about 1400 hrs on August 11, he, Oral Stoby, Lakeram Rajkumar and Joseph Leung (other CANU officers) dressed in their uniform - a blue jumpsuit - left their Mandela Avenue headquarters for Industrial Site after they received certain information from Stoby. Little estimated that ride to be about 15 minutes.
He said that when they arrived at their destination, they parked the mini-bus on a western carriageway facing north while they stood on a parapet. The CANU rank recalled that Stoby pointed out a dark green pathfinder to them and instructed that they stand in its path and wave.
Little said their attempt to stop the vehicle only managed to slow it down for a while. However, before long they accelerated unto Mandela Avenue prompting him and the other officers to board their bus and give chase.
After describing the route the vehicle travelled, the CANU witness went on to state that they were in the vicinity of the North East La Penitence Bridge when he heard a round discharged. He said that at this point he noticed the pathfinder's back windscreen shattered.
Describing the chase as hot pursuit, he recounted that it continued through several more city streets before the pathfinder could have slowed down again. The officer opined that this was due to the fact that the bridge they were approaching, in the vicinity of the Police Station, was under construction and only one of the carriageways was in use.
He recounted that at this point, Stoby exited CANU's vehicle and he heard two gunshots shortly after. He said he noticed that the pathfinder had stopped and so had CANU's bus.
According to Little, he exited the bus and went to open the pathfinder's door. There he saw Allicock sitting in the front seat with a black, bulky plastic bag and a toy gun between his legs but on the pathfinder's floor.
He said he instructed the man to exit the vehicle and he searched him. The witness swore that he found US$100 and some local currency in Allicock's possession. He said that all this was done in the presence of Lakeram and Rajkumar. When that was done, he retrieved the black plastic bag which he suspected to contain cocaine.
He said he asked the defendant a few questions which were answered without any inducement, threats or physical violence from the CANU officers present. He swore that it was then Allicock made the confession about the drugs. The defendant, he said, disowned the drugs but revealed it belonged to his boss. The witness testified that Allicock also begged for a chance.
Describing Vaughn's reaction during that period, Little said he was silent all the time. He said that the captured men and the articles were escorted to CANU's headquarters. There they found six packets of a whitish substance which amounted to 4.7508 kilogrammes when weighed.
Under cross-examination by Vic Puran, defence attorney for the three men, Little explained that they stood at Industrial Site for about five minutes. He said he sat in the third seat while Stoby sat in the seat next to the driver. However, during his ride he did not see Stoby receive any communication.
Moreover, he could not recall seeing Stoby receiving any communication during the time they were at Industrial Site. He said that during the time, he and the other officers were armed but their weapons were in their holsters. In reference to the exhibits, the officer denied tampering with or altering the packages containing the cocaine. However, he acknowledged that he did not state in his evidence-in-chief that he taped the package.
The rank said that the first time he saw Jeremy Mbozi and Andrew Pierre (other CANU officers) was at CANU headquarters and that Stoby was also present. He said he saw them again the same day at about 1545. Giving an estimate of where he was standing, he said he was standing about 75 metres from Mandela Avenue.
Recounting the chase through the city, he said he saw that about three vehicles were in front of the pathfinder impeding its path. He acknowledged that those vehicles were preventing the pathfinder from travelling quickly.
He said that there was no doubt in his mind that there was drugs in the vehicle. Little said that the shot was fired while they were in Savage Street and about 25-26 minutes into the chase. He said the pathfinder was travelling about 30 miles per hour attributing this speed to the vehicles blocking its path.
Denying that a third vehicle tried to ram CANU's mini-bus, the officer said that no one shot the two back tyres of the pathfinder. He said that he only heard three shots one of which shattered the pathfinder's back windscreen.
He denied that he saw Stoby shooting the pathfinder's tyres. He said he was not concentrating on Stoby's actions. He added that he heard the two shots about 3 to 4 seconds after Stoby exited the bus.
Going back to the incident at Industrial site, he said neither he nor the other officers called out to the pathfinder as it approached or passed him. He added that none of them indicated to the driver of the vehicle that is was CANU attempting to stop the vehicle.
Earlier, in the day, Mbozi closed off his testimony by stating that he knew Robert Darr, Morris' brother was in custody in relation to the bust.
Clarifying what he meant by his earlier statement of the traffic being light, Mbozi said there were gaps between the vehicles. He also clarified earlier testimony to say he could indeed have seen the buildings on the western side of the road while he was observing Darr's residence at Lot 3 McDoom, East Bank Demerara.
Yesterday, Chief Magis-trate, Paul Fung-A-Fat again cautioned that there might be a conflict of interest with regards to Allicock and Vaughn being represented by the same lawyer. The cocaine was tendered as evidence yesterday.
The trial continues today.
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