Four Plead Guilty: $3.4 Million Drug Case

March 12, 2012

This morning [Mar.12] in Supreme Court, four of the “Carefree Five” plead guilty to drug charges minutes before their trial was due to start.

Carlos Rogers, Shaun Johnson, Kinola Simons and Bilal Shakir all pleaded guilty to possessing or handling a controlled drug, however pleaded not guilty to conspiring to import a controlled drug. The fifth defendant — Kwesi Hollis — denied all the charges. The value of cannabis was $3.4 million.

File photos from their court appearance last year are below: top row left is Kwesi Hollis, with Carlos Rogers on the right. Bottom row left is Shaun Johnson, with Bilal Shakir on the right.

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Mr Rogers and Mr Hollis left the Dominican Republic on December 1, 2010 on the Carefree IV yacht, and were due to arrive in Bermuda that same month.  The boat was declared missing,  however on Friday January 21, 2011 — seven weeks after leaving their destination —  the Carefree IV sailed into St George’s Harbour, having been boarded by armed Police officers.

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Police arrested both Mr Hollis and Mr Rogers and searched the boat before hoisting the boat ashore, and transporting it to Southside Police Station. Earlier that same morning, the Marine Police stopped a Boston whaler in the North Shore area, seized the cannabis, and arrested the other three men.

The four men who pleaded guilty this morning — Mr Rogers, Mr Johnson, Mr Shakir, and Mr Simons — were remanded in custody, while Mr Hollis was released on bail.

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Comments (52)

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  1. all clogged up says:

    jeeeez $320,000 per year for all four of the bastids to be warehoused at westgate. There has got to be a cheaper solution…..why the hell are we in bed with CARICOM if we can’t send these guys down south to serve their time at a fraction of the costs…..chances of re-offending is high anyways

    • jredmond says:

      they’re non violent marijuana offenders. Ya it was alot of weed, but it hardly makes em b%$tards worthy of shipping off to foreign hells.

  2. yaaa mon says:

    nooooo wayyy dat messed up dey caught u dats pure cash

  3. Shaking My Head.. says:

    Busted!!

  4. Tommy Chong says:

    “40 million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.” – Jay Leno

    “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot” – Darryl Gates (Chief of LAPD & US Senate Judiciary Committee)

    “…marijuana is one of the safest, therapeutically active substances known to man.” – Judge Francis Young (DEA)

    “I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is a flower. God put it here…” – Willie Nelson

    “Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” – Bill Hicks

    “That is not a drug. It’s a leaf” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

    “I enjoy smoking cannabis and see no harm in it.” – Jennifer Aniston

    “When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Barack Obama

    “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I wanted to make these quotes less one sided its just hard to find opposing quotes from the thousands I have collected. Here are some others on the opposing side I found in my list.

      “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
      – Harry J. Anslinger (Commissioner of the US Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1962)

      “Our youth can not understand why society chooses to criminalize a behavior with so little visible ill effect or adverse social impact… These young people have jumped the fence and found no cliff. And the disrespect for the possession laws fosters a disrespect for laws and the system in general… On top of this is the distinct impression among the youth that some police may use the marihuana laws to arrest people they don’t like for other reasons, whether it be their politics, their hair style or their ethnic background.” “Federal and state laws (should) be changed to no longer make it a crime to possess marijuana for private use.” ; “State laws should make the public use of marijuana a criminal offense punishable by a $100 fine. Under federal law, marijuana smoked in public would merely be subject to seizure.” – President Richard M. Nixon

    • Quote luvr says:

      ”If you start smoking pot I’m going to cut your ass !” My doctor

      • Tommy Chong says:

        lol! Thanks for adding to the cannabis quotes Quote luvr. Your doctor has the same saying as my pops did. Though I do thank my pops for keeping me on the straight & narrow as I realize I may have smoked my brains out if not in fear of his wrath. At the moment I try to educate my children about drugs & not throw out threats but I’m sure when they get to their teens the can of cut tail threats will be wide open.

  5. US Observer says:

    Holland is a great example of what to do with it all – They “Tax” it just like buying a pack of cigarettes, groceries, etc. The country made billions.

  6. My two cents says:

    Legalize it and make some money you broke as a joke government!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      There are no countries that can legalize it because of a 1930s law the American drug czar tricked the league of nations into agreeing to. Even in Netherlands it is illegal but the Dutch are way smarter than the Americans so they found a way around the league of nations agreement without making it legal. Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Denmark & Canada have in recent years done the same.

  7. Rockfish says:

    LEAGALIZE IT!!! The crime rate will plumit – the Island will have a surplus – we would get more tourist but the way to turn off the unwanted crowd is to keep the service level that we provide. There are plenty of white suits who would love to come for a 2hr trip just to smoke a blunt and spend money – instead of going all the way to Amsterdam to do so legally.

  8. Rummy says:

    And this will solve our domestic problems?

    Easy for the writers who only smoke a ‘chong’.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I only smoke in countries where its decriminalized so it doesn’t matter to me because I make enough money LEGALLY to go to those countries a few times a year. The rest of the time I can abstain, how about you RUMMY? I guess you’ll never know since Bermuda has all the rum you need. What matters is that no matter how hard we try we will never get rid of our drug related crime problem completely until we have better drug laws.

      But don’t take it from me since to some I’m a, “Rizzla Rolling Retard” even though I don’t own any packs of rizzlas. Why don’t you just take it from the more intelligent minds.

      “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.” – Albert Einstein

      “If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education” – Thomas Jefferson

      “In any civilized society, it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

      ”I say legalize drugs because I want to see less drug abuse, not more. And I say legalize drugs because I want to see the criminals put out of business.” – Edward Ellison, former Head of Scotland Yard’s Antidrug Squad

      By the way Rummy have you ever heard of Al Capone. I bet he would have been your hero.

      • Hmmmm says:

        Do you take illegal drugs in Bermuda?

        • Tommy Chong says:

          I think I explained that above already. I don’t take anything that might be laced with bug spray, imported up someone’s dirty crevice, way overpriced, could get me arrested, shot, or mugged. Mind you all this is because it is criminalized here.

          In short no I don’t take illegal drugs in Bermuda.

          • My two cents says:

            People don’t wanna believe you can be for decriminalization yet not partake in the activity. it’s really stupid because marijuana is not addictive so it is pretty easy to abstain from it when you want to.
            They don’t want to believe you because then all of their arguments fall flat.

            • Tommy Chong says:

              It’s understandable when people are taught something from young they want to believe its always true. I remember the first time I came back from college & openly admitted to my parents I had puffed abroad. My father told my mother to hide all the goods so I wouldn’t pawn them off for weed. LMAO! When my father realized I wasn’t an addict he was baffled & asked me why I wasn’t when a certain person on his construction site was. I had to explain to him that the certain person he referred to smokes crack. I then baffled him even more because he thought crack & weed did the same thing. To back myself up I tried to form a relationship with his favorite jazz musicians & the beatles smoking weed. I then had to change the subject very quick as he was having none of that talk about his favorite artists. Luckly I was too big for a cut tail by then because he would have definitely given me one.

  9. Hmmmm says:

    If you are a buer or end user, you do realize you are part of the problem.

    • Hmmmm says:

      Buyer (not a 16th century spirit or Long motor vehicle)

    • Tommy Chong says:

      How about those who accept drug money aren’t they a part of the problem also? If you work in a store & your best sale for the day is someone with an elastic band full of cash do you accept?

    • Um – The financial institutions of this island partake in immoral activity hourly. Not to mention its their overpaid salaries that afford them “A” class drugs creating the supply and demand that encourages the above men to take high risks to keep up with a widening economic gap between middle and upperclass.

  10. oi there says:

    Legalize it?! Are you insane? You’d put the Police out of a job! There’s a recession going on and we need to make every effort to keep people gainfully employed… :-)

    But seriously: everyone who touts legalization as some grand crime reduction strategy has their head under the sand. How else will people who are profiting from the illegal drug trade earn money? These people, no matter how unsavoury though it may seem, support households and families. I doubt that legalization would be the best option without putting sufficient countermeasures in place.

    I am however more in favour of a moderate decriminalization, so that our young men and women can stay off the Stop List when found in possesion of relatively small amounts (compared to what drealers are found in possession of)

    • so-n-so says:

      that is already a law. was enacted back in 2010 to allow officers to caution someone if they meet certain criteria.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Certain Criteria Act? I don’t think so.

        @ enough I know your around somewhere is this true is there a CCA 2010?

  11. Observer says:

    Possession but not conspiring to import…seriously?

  12. CQ 1993 says:

    So you think the crime would slow down do u. Foolish to think. People would then be fighting against thebetter deals. How would it be controled or imported? Ok yeah the is docks…..not! Boat load of weed on its way in….watch the pirates be born. Contry of pot heads walking around…….imagin that. Policy makers. Doctors. Police.fire rescue.army. The church. Island of pot heads? You Dream on. Let me help you pack for Holland. One less smoked up oppinion here at home.

    • abc says:

      @cq lol u de same one hittin de WHITE LADY u r 2 FUNNY TAKE A SEAT PLS

    • bermyshotta says:

      @CQ 1993 – an wat u think happens now?!?! It aink like ppl jus go out abusing drugs de minute they r legalized. ya brainwashed logic is wat is part of de problem!!!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      It would be controlled similar to the way alcohol is controlled & why import Bermuda is an island mon.

      Do you think the United Nations would have their International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court in a country full of pirates & pot heads? That’s just as bad as saying Bemuda is full of RUMMYS. Learn about the Netherlands before you pass judgement. To the majority of dutch smoking herb is boring & some may do it once & a while but most don’t. Its like the beach is to Bermudians.

      Also not everyone who smokes or ever smoked cannabis is a pot head.

    • Scott says:

      CQ you are part of this group that seems to think because something is legal that everyone just goes around using it all the time…

      Booze is legal, but you dotn see your doctors, policy makers, police, etc going around at work drunk? give one good solid reason why you think pot would be any different?

      I’m not entirely for or against the legalization, but silly arguments like that that are pulled from thin air are useless.

    • My two cents says:

      So stupid, I guess using your logic everyone on this island is a drunkard because alcohol is legal. Wired cause I know several people that don’t touch alcohol and never have had a drink. Your logic is severely flawed.

  13. Kim Smith says:

    How odd! Only very, very rarely do you get someone pleading guilty… clearly part of a defense strategy. It will be interesting to hear the story unfold.

  14. Rockfish#1 says:

    Cannabis will never be legal in Bermuda.

  15. Hang Tight says:

    Speech !!!! Stay Strong bredran. !! you will be aight !!! Adapt to the new life !! Study hard take all the courses you can and always remember !! Frenz For life !!!!!! look at it like your in foreign !! BLESS UP BREDRAN !! MORE TIME !!!

  16. P.A.M.B says:

    The Bay will miss you !!!!!

  17. Mountbatten says:

    All that caper will earn them is years of long lonely nights ..

  18. James Goodfellow says:

    Legalise Marijuna and have even more dopey Bermudians wondering the streets. These losers should be sent down for 20 years minimum.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Should the rumrunners back in 1930′s get sent down for 20 years minimum? I’ve seen some Bermudians act real dopey & even violent after drinking some of that black seal.

  19. Eyes wide shut says:

    Yes alcohol is legal and guess what? This island is riddled with alcoholics! Also, Bermudians are already too laid back when it comes to th serious issues of life and we already have too many mindless lemmings around here just following others into nowhere. We don’t need the govt. consent on opening the flood gates to more legalized zombies roaming our streets.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      The reason serious issues in Bermuda don’t get sorted has nothing to do with being laid back. The reason is because of the way our government is set up. Even if we have our government doesn’t follow through with positive actions our hands are tied till an opposition party thinks they have the advantage. This means a poorly run government could stay in for years as we have witnessed already. Even leaders with bad ideas & no morals can put on a charismatic show & if they talk directly to the majority of the people they will follow them into nowhere. If a good opposition talked directly to the majority of the people also & stopped with the he said she said & foreigners this foreigners that & focused on the people than the people would follow them somewhere. Just look at how Obama won his election by a landslide he talked to the people & related to them where as his opposition talked at the people making them feel useless. Prejudice against Bermudians will never solve any issues here!

      As for the prevalence of alcoholism on the island the problem is having a potentially addictive substance so poorly controlled & made Bermuda’s only year round past time. Even though its illegal its still considered the norm for Bermudians to drink at sixteen. Alcohol is sold EVERYWHERE here even in the pharmacy which is unheard of in almost every other country. Its probably easier to get a liquor license for a business than it is to get a license to serve cooked food. In the distant past I used to smoke cigarettes so on a trip to Canada I went to the pharmacy to get some the lady at the counter thought I was being facetious & flipped out on me & told me to GET OUT!. Then I went to the grocery store in Canada to buy alcohol & got a similar reaction when I asked a manager where the liquor section was. There are no skate parks, fun parks or any other fun things for our young to do here & alcohol is everywhere so what else do we expect our young to grow up doing. Yes there are sports here but how is that fun for children who aren’t the best at them that get teased by their peers here because of taught prejudice.

      You & the rest of the prejudice people on this island need to have your EYES WIDE OPEN so you can see what’s clearly in front of you. I’m not for full legalization of any substance I’m for intelligent laws being passed to help control the uncontrolled substances. If you think that the law at present really has control over drugs then you might as well be an ostrich.

      “If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education” – Thomas Jefferson

      • Eyes wide shut says:

        Prejudice? 4real? How am i prejudice?? And were u serious when u aluded to not having skate parks, fun parks and other “fun things to do” as the reason why we have a high level of alcoholism in My island home?! And I’m not prejudice against any of my fellow Bermudians but, i am anti- stupidity which after reading your road to nowhere comments makes me anti-chong!

        • Tommy Chong says:

          You stating that 64,268 Bermudians are already too laid back when it comes to the serious issues of life is prejudice. I’ll deal with the rest of your posts when I have more time to point out that your eyes are really wide shut if you couldn’t read the rest of my explanation for the reason of the prevalence of alcoholism in OUR island home. There’s always more than one catalyst that amounts to destruction. As Arny said, “I’ll be back!” to deal with this & your bottom post.

  20. Geza Wolf says:

    I appreciate all points made on the subject of marijuana and decriminalization, however the big point I feel everyone is missing:

    THE ILLEGAL SALE OF MARIJUANA IS THE BIGGEST MONEY MAKER FOR CRIMINALS AND GANGS.

    Drugs like crack, cocaine and heroin make up a small portion of the profits made by gangs, marijuana is by-far the biggest money maker for criminals in Bermuda.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Marijuana is by-far the biggest money maker for criminals in Bermuda? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Where did you get this statistic from? Crack, cocaine & heroin are highly addictive & when an addict feels the need for them they will do ANYTHING FOR IT. Why do you think there are so many break ins in Bermuda. Nobody robs, prostitutes or kills for weed but some will for crack, cocaine & heroin. If you don’t believe this do your research into how the African warlords turn innocent children into killers. Crack, cocaine & heroin makes millions for drug dealers in Bermuda. If your taking your stats from the amount of seizures of cannabis in Bermuda to the amount of other drugs that is an improper parallel that just shows that more hard drugs get through undetected than weed does. These stats need to be questioned as to why this happens. Just look at these guys in this article who got arrested none of them are or look like big time king pins they just look like a bunch of not too smart people who thought they had a good idea but didn’t. This is why Bermuda will have hell before something gets sorted because the people who profit from hard drugs have made their business invisible. Weed is used by majority of low income people cocaine is used by all the way to the top executives down to the poorest of the poor in the same numbers. The only reason you see poor crack heads on the street is because it is quicker for them to reach rock bottom then someone who can afford the habit. Your heads so far in the sand your probably looking at Asia right now.

      • Geza Wolf says:

        Ok Tommy Chong, since you have time to write so many short essays on bernews go look at all the articles on bernews and RG pertaining to nabbed drug shipments and show me one where there was more cocaine imported than marijuana.

        • Tommy Chong says:

          There’s no need for me to go through all the articles as BPS has already released the stats of seizures. Yes there are more cannabis seizures but as I stated before in my short essay above your latest comment this can’t be used to compare to sales. It is easier to conceal a chemical powder substance than an organic plant substance since it takes up less room & doesn’t have a pungent smell like cannabis. I have no idea what type of coke traffickers are bringing in but I’ve seen documentaries about DEA finding cocaine that has been developed with no smell at all even a K9 can’t detect it. There’s no way to do the math because its impossible to say what x is when x + seizures = unknown amount total. Another thing you need to look at when reading these articles is that if the weight of the seized cannabis if equal to the weight of the seized cocaine the dollar amount is always higher for the coke. So the drug dealers will always make more of any cocaine that gets through than cannabis especially if cut with something else or turned into freebase.

      • Eyes wide shut says:

        Marijuana use is just as prevalent at the executive level as cocaine. And i like the way u attempt to make how these 4 or 5 guys look on camera determine where U say they are in the drug world hierarchy? The truth is….unless u know them up close and personal, there is know way that u can know where they rank in that world? U type a lot of fluff but say very little of substance and then u want to belittle anyone else’s thoughts on the matter. You are know more informed on the issue at hand than anyone else on this blog and your OPINION holds no more validity than anyone else’s either.

  21. SPEECH says:

    FREE SPEECH!!!! KEEP YA HEAD UP!!