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Customs Officer on Drug Charges Granted Bail

Wednesday 20th February, 2019-Bail was granted today to Desmond Lewis the Customs Officer who was arrested and charged by the ONDCP on Tuesday.

Lewis was detained on Monday following a counter-narcotics operation in Golden Grove. Cannabis weighing one pound one ounce with an estimated wholesale value of  Four Thousand, Five Hundred EC Dollars (ECD$4,500.00) was found in his vehicle. Additionally, an amount of approximately Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and FiftyEC Dollars (ECD $5,850.00) was also seized.

Appearing before Magistrate Conliffe Clarke, the customs officer was granted bail in the sum of $15,000, with two sureties and a cash deposit of $ 1,500.

As part of his bail conditions, Desmond Lewis must report to the All Saints Magistrate’s Court three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Additionally, he was ordered to surrender his passport. Since the travel document is being renewed, he will lodge the new passport with the police upon receipt of it.

The Customs Officer, a resident of Jennings, pleaded guilty to possession of Cannabis, but not guilty to possession with intent to supply. However, the prosecution did not accept the not guilty plea, so there will be a trial on the second charge.

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The trial date is set for 23rd May, 2019.

Meantime, the Customs and Excise Division says it has launched an internal inquiry following the arrest of one of its officers.

In a statement today, the Customs Division outlined it is fully aware of the arrest of Desmond Lewis and while investigations are ongoing, they are carrying out their own inquiry, since at the time of his arrest, Mr. Lewis should have been on duty in St. John’s.

The Customs and Excise Division is expressing appreciation to the ONDCP for the role it continues to play in the ongoing effort to keep the country’s borders safe, stating it remains steadfast in its overall mission to protect and serve the people of Antigua and Barbuda. The Customs and Excise Division noted it is resolved to operate at the highest levels of professionalism and integrity and will continue to cooperate fully with the ONDCP and the Police, as they continue to carry out their investigations.

 

 

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