Jamaica: St James couple to stand trial in $85 million cocaine bust

CHAD AND Sheena Headley, the St James couple who were arrested last year June after cocaine valued at $85 million was allegedly found at their home, were committed to stand trial in the St James Parish Court on June 9, following their appearance in the same court yesterday.

The Headleys, who are charged with possession of, dealing in, and taking steps to export cocaine, had their bail extended after they were given the trial date during their appearance before presiding parish judge Sasha-Marie Ashley.

When the matter came up for mention before Judge Ashley, it was revealed that the Communication Forensic and Cyber-Crime Division (CFCD) report regarding video footage associated with the case had not yet been signed and that the clerk of the court had not viewed the footage.

It was also disclosed that the case had been reassigned to a new investigating officer, as the previous investigator had left the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Sheena Headley’s attorney Peter Champagnie said that he and Chad Headley’s lawyer Martyn Thomas had previously been told that the video footage would not be critical to the case.

“We were told eons ago that the video was of no utility in this matter. We have conferred together, and we do not see how it can advance the case, plus the statements of the police witnesses do not make any reference to the video,” Champagnie told the judge. “There is no case at all, and we are anxious to have the matter resolved one way or another.”

Ashley subsequently set June 9 as the trial date, while ordering that the prosecution should inform the court ahead of that date if it decides not to proceed against one or both of the defendants.

The allegations are that on June 15, 2022, at about 6 p.m., a team of officers from the Area One Narcotics Police Division carried out an operation at the Headleys’ premises in Goodwill, St James. During the search, 10 rectangular-shaped packages were found in the trunk of a Toyota Prado SUV belonging to Sheena Headley.

The packages were subsequently identified as cocaine weighing approximately 25 pounds. Following an interview session in the presence of her lawyer, Sheena Headley was arrested and charged with breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act.



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