Convicted Trini Drug Man Junior ‘Southie’ Gomez, Missing
Eyebrows are now being raised as information filters through that convicted Trinidadian drug man Junior’ Southie’ Gomez, who was convicted last week of cocaine charges, is missing, and the person who stood as surety for his bail has not been called upon to pay the $100,000 to the treasury.
How was Gomez able to beat the justice system is anybody’s guess.
Gomez’s trial on charges relating to 10.8 kilos of cocaine was held before the High Court in his absence, and he was found guilty, but he is not here to serve a sentence; hence no sentencing date has been set as yet.
His surety, Fletcher Goodluck of Bequia, has been relieved of the responsibility to pay $100,000 to the state.
A question that is being asked is whether the opportunity will become available for an application to be made for his extradition, as was the case of the person who signed his bail bond.
In 2011, the Serious Offences Court committed Fletcher Goodluck to custody to await extradition to the Republic of France, following a request made by the Government of France for his extradition on the basis that on July 3, 2009, he was convicted in his absence of: “Exportation, acquisition, transportation, possession, and sale or delivery of narcotic drugs.”
Goodluck was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined jointly with others Euro 2,119,000 for breach of the Public Health Code and Euro 587,000 for violation of the Customs Code.
Goodluck was dissatisfied with his committal for extradition, and he made an application to the High Court for Habeas Corpus. The grounds on which he relied at the hearing of the application were: (a) He was an accused person within the meaning of Sections 5 and 12(4) of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1989, and he should have been treated as an accused person and not as a convicted person at the committal hearing. (b) Alternatively, the provisions of Section 7(3) of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1989 had not been complied with.
In the judgment on the matter, the High Court judge ruled that Goodluck, having been convicted by judgment in default in France, must be regarded as an accused person within the meaning of Sections 5 and 12(4) of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1989.
The court said that Goodluck, having been committed under Section 12(4)(b), was not lawfully committed into custody to await extradition. Thus, it was ordered that: (a) The application for habeas corpus be granted and that (b) Goodluck be released from custody immediately.
Gomez was arrested and charged jointly with Bequia chef Gabriel’ Goofie’ Hutchins that on November 8, 2015, they had in their possession 10.8 kilos of cocaine, with intent to supply.
They were also charged that on November 8, 2015, they had in their possession a controlled drug for the purpose of drug trafficking, importing a controlled drug for the purpose of drug trafficking, and conspiring with each other between November 1 and 7, 2015, to commit the offence of drug trafficking.
The cocaine, with an estimated street value of $560,700, was packaged and stashed in four of 12 five-gallon buckets of paint offloaded from M.V. Admiral 3 at Port Elizabeth, Bequia, on November 6, 2015.
The accused men were granted bail in the sum of $100,000 with one surety each in the like sum.
In December 2016, following the preliminary inquiry, the Serious Offences Court committed Gomez and Hutchins to stand trial before the High Court.
While on bail and awaiting trial on the cocaine charges, Gomez, who lived in Cane Garden, was again arrested and charged for a controlled drug. In April 2018, he was sentenced to 22 months for possessing 48.57 pounds of marijuana for the purpose of drug trafficking, and 18 months for having the 48.57 pounds of marijuana in his possession with intent to supply to another.
After serving his jail sentence, Gomez disappeared. When the matter of his cocaine charges came up, his surety was summoned to court.
Lawyer Israel Bruce, who represented Gomez, made representation on Goodluck’s behalf.
The court heard that Gomez was in Union Island in the Southern Grenadines, and the surety was in contact with him.
The court also heard that Bruce had advised Gomez to surrender himself to the police on the Southern Grenadine island to be brought to St Vincent.
The Trinidadian drug convict never showed up.
It is understood that Gomez’s surety appeared before Trinidadian judge Angelica Teelucksingh and no order was made for him to pay the $100,000 to the state.
It is said that the court was satisfied that the surety, Fletcher Goodluck, made efforts to get Gomez to attend court for his trial.