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Boat captain testifies in cocaine smuggling case

A boat captain yesterday insisted that he didn’t know anything about the 24 kilos of cocaine found on a sailboat that he skippered.

During his testimony at his trial before Magistrate Samuel McKinney, Juan Cabrera admitted that he’d accepted a job to sail the boat from Colombia to Bermuda.

On August 29, 2021, after refueling in Long Island, officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit boarded the vessel, but did not find any contraband.

The boat was then towed to Exuma, where a second search occurred on August 30.

While searching the battery housing in the engine, the officers found the drugs inside two bags.

Cabrera was adamant that he had no need to check the boat’s battery during the voyage.

When the prosecutor, Inspector Timothy Bain, pointed out that the fuel jugs were in close proximity to the area where the drugs were found, Cabrera said, “I didn’t know.”

Cabrera said he sent a message to the boat’s owner through the DEA, asking if there were any more drugs on board.

He said, “I was surprised by this. It’s not my boat.”

Cabrera faces charges of importation of cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to supply along with his mate Luis Calmonares, who elected to remain silent.

McKinney is expected to give his decision on June 20. Ernie Wallace represents both men.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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