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Policeman charged in guns and drugs case

A police sergeant has been charged with several firearm and drug offences in Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Jonathan McAlpine-Talbot, 38, was charged alongside Ryan Resendes, 29, and Jonathan Mello, 27, with conspiring to import and supply firearms, ammunition and controlled drugs into the island.

Mr McAlpine-Talbot, from Smith’s, was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was accused of improperly sharing information about an investigation into the November 2023 murder of Wilfred Outerbridge Jr and causing a police computer to perform a function “with the intent to secure access to data held in that computer, which access was and which you knew at the time to be unauthorised, in that it fell outside legitimate police business”.

Mr Resendes and Mr Mello, both from St George’s, were also charged with having firearms, including a Taurus 9mm and Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol, along with the controlled drugs MDMA and THC, and a butter knife intended for the use of a drug.

Mr Resendes was further charged with having a quantity of cash, said to be criminal property.

All the offences are alleged to have occurred between November 14 and December 2, 2023.

None of the defendants were required to enter a plea because the case must be heard in the Supreme Court.

Magistrate Maria Sofianos adjourned the case to the July 1 arraignment session and released the defendants on $100,000 bail with a like surety.

The men were ordered to surrender all travel documents, follow a nightly 9pm to 7am curfew, attend the Hamilton Police Station every Tuesday and Thursday, and be fitted with electronic monitoring devices.

Their court appearance came after Police Commissioner Darrin Simons announced yesterday that a sergeant had been among eight people arrested “in the early hours of Monday” as part of what was described as a broader operation.

Mr Simons said the charges followed the recovery of a firearm and “a very significant quantity of drugs”.

He added: “The public can be confident that we are committed to transparency and accountability at all levels.”

He said all police actions were done with “the intent of strengthening the bond of trust between the community and the police".

Mr Simons said the arrested officer had been suspended with pay, in accordance with legislation.

He added: “Understandably, this news will be as unsettling to the community, as it is for the BPS family. We recognise the impact this incident has on our officers, particularly those who worked closely with the accused.

“Support is available to ensure their wellbeing during this challenging time.”

Mr Simons emphasised the Bermuda Police Service’s commitment to serving the community with “integrity, professionalism and accountability”.

“We are resolute in our mission to make Bermuda safer for all.”

The Bermuda Police Service encourages anyone with potential information related to the case to contact the BPS confidentially via Crimestoppers at 800-8477, or the anonymous reporting portal.

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.