Jamaican denies smuggling $647,900 in heroin

A man charged with smuggling $647,900 of heroin into Bermuda was seen stashing a package in his bag after it had been searched by a customs officer, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.

Witnesses said the man, Omar Davy, 38, ran from the airport minutes later and left the bag behind.

Two taped-together packages were later found in the bag.

The packages contained a total of 220.88 grams of heroin.

Mr Davy, from Jamaica, denied charges of importation of the drug, possession with intent to supply and wilful obstruction of a customs officer.

Sharjan Rumley, a customs officer, testified that she was on duty at the LF Wade International Airport on July 10 last year, when Mr Davy arrived on the island.

She said Mr Davy was sent to her desk around lunchtime for a secondary search after he got off an Air Canada flight from Toronto.

Ms Rumley told the court Mr Davy said he had come to Bermuda to visit his girlfriend and deal with a traffic ticket.

She said he appeared to be nervous and “kept pushing his shirt down and pulling his pants up continuously”.

A search of his bag turned up nothing suspicious but a drug-sniffer dog indicated that Mr Davy had drugs on his person.

Ms Rumley said she went to her supervisor twice, the second time to get permission to conduct a personal search.

But before the search could take place, Mr Davy fled, chased by customs officers.

CCTV footage of the incident showed that after Ms Rumley walked away the first time, Mr Davy pulled an object out of his pants and put it in his bag.

He was also seen to cover the object with clothing.

Ms Rumley told Archibald Warner, defence lawyer for Mr Davy, that she did not see the package when she came back to the search bench. Mr Warner suggested that Mr Davy had asked her not to say anything, which she denied.

Ms Rumley said: “I would have informed my senior officer of my findings and what he said.”

Macio Talbot, a trainee customs officer, told the court he chased Mr Davy out of the airport and into the car park, where he said the defendant tried to get into a car.

He said: “He opened the door. It was the driver’s side. I cannot remember if there was any one in the vehicle. I don’t believe there was.”

Mr Talbot said Mr Davy ran through a gate into an area he referred to as the helipad, near the roundabout that led to the airport.

He shut the gate in an attempt to trap Mr Davy, but realised the fence was open on the side closest to the water.

Mr Talbot said: “There were many ways he could still exit. There was no gate on the water side to hold him in.

“He went on to the temporary bridge and flagged down an oncoming truck. I yelled to the driver not to let him in but I figured I was out of range for him to hear.”

Craig Burchall told the court he was behind the wheel of the truck that Mr Davy flagged down.

He said: “As I started driving, I noticed he was a little rattled. Nervous. He was kind of anxious.

“I asked him if he was OK. He looked a little stressed. He said he was stressed. I asked him if I could pray for him, and he said ‘yes’.”

Mr Burchall said he continued to drive, but before he could get off the Causeway a motorcycle overtook him and forced him to stop.

He said Mr Davy told him to keep going.

He said: “That’s when alarms started going off in my head. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.”

Mr Burchall said the rider — who was wearing a blue shirt and black pants — signalled to Mr Davy to get out.

The court heard the man on the motorcycle was Zeko Burgess, who worked at the airport for Bermuda Security Group.

Mr Burgess said he was leaving to go on break when he saw customs officers and others chasing a man out of the arrivals area.

He added in a written statement read to the court that he got on his bike when he was told the man they were chasing had flagged down a blue truck, which was on the Causeway.

Mr Burgess said he rode on to the Causeway, overtook a series of vehicles and forced the truck to stop.

He said: “The passenger was hesitant to get out but he did. He said he wanted to jump overboard. I told him it wasn’t worth it.”

Mr Burgess said he left the area when the man was arrested by police.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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