An overview:

I have been meaning for some time to detail what was probably the most far reaching investigation ever conducted in Bermuda into the importation and distribution of cocaine.  The investigation involved some well-know people; public figures.

The investigation was thorough, to a point.  In the early stages, where observations, searches and arrests were pursued, most in the Narcotics office participated in and enjoyed the 'chase'.  When many of the 'players' had been rounded up it was then a matter of compiling, sifting and presenting the evidence.   This aspect of Narcotics work did not suit most, personally, I preferred this part, particularly the taking of statements.

I was therefore very much involved with the finer detail and once everything started to 'go pear shaped' (get a little out of control) for me, I ensured I secured what I could to present my case.  What you will read is once again factual.  It is the account of an investigation which resulted in the following terms of imprisonment:

  1. Antonio Miranda    25yrs
  2. Ted Ming    20 years
  3. Dexter Dillas    20 years
  4. Larry Ebbin    20 years
  5. Colin Winfield Smith     20 years

Antonio Miranda entered a plea of guilty and therefore escaped a possible life sentence.  Possibly this was a mistake on his part, the remaining four, who entered pleas of 'not guilty' subsequently had their convictions overturned - on a technicality.

Mind you, Antonio served approximately 7 years - what led to the reduced term?  I wonder!

Of the case, the puisne Judge the Hon, Mr. Justice (Martyn) Ward; 'had no mercy for the local connection in a smuggling ring he said was so vast it "makes one mourn for these little islands".  He scorned the operation's American lynchpin Antonio Miranda who told police even he did not know how his four Bermudian partners "moved so much (cocaine) in such a little island"

But the case touched further on America, as reported in the Mid Ocean news (7th December 1990), when our alleged informant was murdered; 'police in New Jersey are convinced that Deborah Owens was gunned down on the orders of two Cuban drug kingpins who suspected that she was about to snitch on their lucrative Bermuda operation'.

"1990 was probably the best year the narcotics department would ever see", a direct quote from Alan Bissell, currently a senior Officer in the Bermuda police force, when we met in 1993.  He was right.

On 21st March 1990, we descended on the Welman brothers following the discovery of 1.5 kilos of cannabis and just under half a kilo of cocaine.

On 30th March 1990, we arrested Dwight Hatherley and his side-kick (the son of a former police officer), Jason Harvey having found approximately 66lbs of cannabis.

On 1tth May 1990, the Miranda arrests began and the enquiry never really stopped.




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