by Abigail Semple
Self-confessed drug lord, Barry Dataram, was Tuesday found guilty of the possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, while the three other co-accused, including his common-law wife, were freed.
City Magistrate, Judy Latchman said there was enough evidence to convict Dataram. She was awaiting the value of the cocaine before handing down sentence to Dataram in his absence.
Dataram has failed to turn up in court, and law enforcement agents said he has since fled the country to neighbouring Suriname in possession of bogus travel documents.
His common-law wife, Anjanie Boodnarine, and Kevin Charran and Trevor Gouveia were freed.
They were facing trial for allegedly being in possession of 129.230 kilogrammes (284 pounds) of cocaine. The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) states that the narcotic was found on April 16, 2015 at Dataram’s house located at 661 Silver Dam, Fourth Avenue, Diamond Housing Scheme.
Magistrate Latchman said there was enough evidence against Dataram in his absence, and the Court found no evidence tying Boodnarine, Gouvieia, and Charran to the drugs found at Dataram’s residence.
She stated however, that based on the facts and the physical evidence presented in court against him, Dataram has been found guilty.
On the day in question, Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) agents entered the premises of Dataram and found therein 33 parcels of cocaine substance in an upstairs bathroom, 180 pieces in a blue baby tub and 92 pieces in a black garbage bag in the downstairs dining room, and 142 pieces in a freezer with shrimp in the outer yard area. All this was tendered as evidence against the accused. However, the Magistrate found that eight out of the 142 freezer parcels have gone missing and as such decided that these items of evidence have been compromised, bearing no weight in court. These parcels have therefore been eliminated from the case as evidence.
Additionally, Dataram was found to have made certain statements against CANU via telephone as well as on television. The Court has weighed in 0on the telephone interview statement, but not on the television interview with Reporter Travis Chase, which Magistrate Latchman found to be “neither here nor there”.
On September 20, 2016, Dataram and Boodnarine failed to appear in court and matter proceedings were postponed until September 23 as warrants were issued for the defendants’ arrest. On September 23, the defendants still had not shown up and so the matter was adjourned to Tuesday September 27, 2016. Since Dataram and Boodnarine still failed to show up, the bail money has been escheated to the State and the arrest warrants recalled.
The trial against the other three defendants continued in the absence of the other co-accused.