THE owner of D&D Pawn Shop, Andre Gomes called ‘Zipper’ and a 33-year-old man, who were recently nabbed with $2 million worth of cocaine, were, on Friday, arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Eon Joseph of Tucville Squatting Area, Georgetown, denied the drug trafficking charge when it was read to him, while Gomes, 61, of Craig Street, Campbellville pleaded not guilty.
According to the particulars of the joint charge, the two, on October 26, at Gomes’ Craig Street, Campbellville home, had two kilograms of cocaine in their possession for the purpose of trafficking.
They were represented by attorney-at-law Siand Dhurjon, who asked the court for leniency when sentencing Joseph. In an application for bail for Gomes, Dhurjon told the court that his client is constantly harassed and victimised by ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the police.
According to the facts presented by police prosecutor Richard Harris, on the day in question, CANU ranks acting on a “tip-off”, went to Gomes’ home and conducted surveillance.
While conducting surveillance, they saw Joseph arriving in a car and entering Gomes’ yard. The prosecutor told the court that the men proceeded to do the “drug transaction” after which CANU ranks ran into the yard and caught them in the act.
They were arrested with two brick-like parcels of suspected cocaine.
However, Joseph, during his address to the court contradicted the police facts. According to Joseph, he was under financial hardship when two men approached him with cocaine to sell.
He explained that he took the men to Gomes’ residence, but he (Gomes) turned them away, and while leaving the premises CANU ranks stormed the yard and arrested everyone.
The Chief Magistrate sentenced Joseph to three years imprisonment together with a fine of $3.1M. Gomes was remanded to prison until November 2.
Gomes is no stranger to law enforcement officials. In June 2015, a murder charge was withdrawn against him by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) due to insufficient evidence. He had been charged with the May 10, 2015 murder of Nigel Isaacs of Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Georgetown. Isaacs was shot in the head outside of Palm Court.
Then in 2018, Gomes was freed of a drug trafficking charge by City Magistrate Leron Daly. He was accused of trafficking 902 grams of cocaine on January 30, 2018 at his Craig Street home.
Also in 2018, Gomes’ son, Mark Gomes, along with Mohammed Kadir were charged for trafficking 4.9 pounds of cocaine on March 29, 2018, at Sheriff Street. They were subsequently found guilty and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment together with a fine of $6M.
In August 2017, Gomes’ girlfriend, Naomi Persaud, was sentenced to four years jail and fined $21M after 20 pounds of cocaine in a gas cylinder was found in her Craig Street house.
Their grandson, a national under-19 cricketer, was jointly charged with the offence but the charge was dismissed after his grandmother “took the rap.”