Trial set in Jamaica-Canada drug case

By Marcia Scott


The long-awaited trial of a Jamaican police officer and a civilian, who were arrested in 2010 in connection with a drug-smuggling operation between Jamaica and Canada, is set to begin in the Montego Bay RM Court on November 4.


Vincent Saddler, a former police sergeant , is charged with conspiracy to export ganja; while  his co-accused Donovan Clarke, a former employee of the Sangster International Airport, is charged with possession and dealing in cocaine and conspiracy to export ganja.


They had their bails extended when they appeared in court on Monday, July 1.


On December 1, 2010, Saddler and Clarke were reportedly arrested during an operation by investigators from the Anti-Corruption Branch in relation to alleged narcotics trafficking between the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Nine alleged co-conspirators were also arrested in Canada during the same operation.


On Monday, attorney-at-law Dionne Maylor-Reid, who represented the two defendants, complained about the lack of progress in setting a trial date for the case.


“This is my twelfth appearance in this matter, and we have had several trial dates, but on the last occasion, we were told that not even a copy of the file was here,” Maylor-Reid told Resident Magistrate Carolyn Tie.


Clerk of the court Natalie Malcolm said that she had contacted the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with regard to the case.


“I received a letter this morning from the office of the DPP…there is no date for a trial in the letter,” Malcolm said.


“If we are going to set a date that is convenient for all, they need to give a date that is convenient for them,” replied RM Tie.


Eventually, after consultations between the magistrate and attorney Maylor-Reid, the case was set for trial on November 4.