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Colon said ‘Not mine!’ when asked about $300k - Officer Louis Buckley

- defence attorney said Colon’s limited English meant that communication became ‘lost in translation’
Felix Rafael Melendez Colon leaving court during a previous occasion. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - In giving testimony for the state in the Magistrate’s Court trial of Felix Rafael Melendez Colon, Officer of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Louis Buckley testified that the defendant denied knowledge of the over $300,000 in United States currency found on him and that he made such a denial using English language.

Officer Buckley was in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday May 17, 2016 before Senior Magistrate Tamia N. Richards in the trial of Colon for the charge of being in possession of proceeds of criminal conduct.

According to Officer Buckley, Colon had just over $900 in the pocket of his trousers but denied knowledge of the $359,000 in cash found in a bag which was on the boat. Officer Buckley said that Colon told him he never saw the bag before and that it did not belong to him. The Officer said that Colon acknowledged the boat as belonging to him.

“I believe that there is a document showing that Colon is the registered owner. But I don’t have those documents,” said Officer Buckley.

Asked by the Prosecutor whether any other contraband or fish was found on the boat, Officer Buckley replied that no other contraband or fish was found on the boat.

When he was asked how sure he was that Colon understood what was being said to him, Officer Buckley said that despite his limited knowledge of English, Colon understood what the Officers in the operation were telling him, as he responded, “Not mine, not mine, not mine” when asked about the over $300,000 found on the boat.

Attorney at Law for the defence, Andrew Morrison put to the witness that because of his client’s limited knowledge of English, the procedures could not be clearly explained to him as the communication was not fully comprehended by him.

However, the Officer responded saying that Colon was able to understand what the officers were saying to him during the bust and later at the Road Town Police station a Spanish interpreter was provided.

Colon sailed from Puerto Rico

According to the facts put forward by the Prosecution, Felix Rafael Colon sailed from the United States territory of Puerto Rico to the island of St Thomas in the USVI then onwards to Tortola where he was intercepted with a stash of over $359,000 cash.

According to the complaint before the court, the man was picked up in the area of Towers, West End, Tortola.

Crown Prosecutor Garcia Kirt Kelly in an earlier court appearance told the court that on September 7, 2015 members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force were on patrol duties aboard the MV Ursula in the vicinity of Towers West End, Tortola.

He said that while on patrol they observed a white 23 foot angler vessel with a lone occupant with fishing gear.

The occupant anchored the vessel and Police approached him. He was accosted by the police and they were told that he sailed down from Puerto Rico via St Thomas, USVI and came to the Virgin Islands to fish.

According to the complaint, the man said that he did not have a fishing licence but that he came to fish and meet a person named ‘Mitchell’. Further, he failed to present himself to immigration and customs officers upon his arrival in the territory.

Police requested a search and during the search of the vessel a black bag was allegedly found in the stern. The bag was retrieved, placed on the deck and opened in the presence of the defendant.

According to the complaint before the court, a large quantity of cash was discovered wrapped in plastic. The cash was seized by the police and the man taken into custody.

At the first count while some of the notes were wet, the total counted was rounded off to $308,040. However, when counted dry the total was $359,950.

The trial continues in the Magistrate's Court at John's Hole.

12 Responses to “Colon said ‘Not mine!’ when asked about $300k - Officer Louis Buckley”

  • ... (18/05/2016, 08:19) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    I could do with that money now
  • wize up (18/05/2016, 08:58) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    where is the rest of the money; school children saying its was over 500k in cash....the force is the best place to get a job now, the kinda money passing though( a set of them done got 2 house back home)
    • CroIsland (18/05/2016, 11:37) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      How were the school children able to count the cash if it was wrapped in plastic?
      • wize up (18/05/2016, 17:52) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ croisland: ask the three dirty pigs that are on trail how they got their hands on the money that should have been in the same plastic bag you hear asking think it easy !!!
    • North breeze (18/05/2016, 13:25) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      Check under your mother you will find the rest that should hold you.
  • dutty kops (18/05/2016, 09:05) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
  • i from here (18/05/2016, 10:36) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    dirty money I see now what the BBC reporter was talking about!
  • GER (18/05/2016, 10:45) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    Wize Up hush you Ras about School Children say, you all just like to come on here and create doubts in the Law Enforcement System. Yes some has done wrong but don't try to create mischief If you think its the best Place to work try it.
    • wize up (18/05/2016, 16:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ GER: yep i heard that: but that is why 3 police officers yes the same law enforcement you here chatting bull !uck about....lots more of them will end up before the court house...the one you have in hiding that is a key witness for the prosecution should also be on trial....i stop being a police many year ago(yes, go talk that)...a dirty police is harmful to the community also very dangerous to work with while executing lawful duties... i hear dem gone with some of the evidence money( why you so upset..if you did not get your share; that aint my issue)
  • ha (18/05/2016, 22:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yeah GER, a bee buzz the same thing in my ear. Don't get mad at Wize Up. Don't get mad because you got played out of your piece of pie/cut.
  • Belonger With A Broader Perspective (19/05/2016, 08:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    RVIPF Watch out! Tortola is starting to boil. Taking what's not yours may cost you. Stay on the right side of the law. The streets are watching and silence isn't golden. As the late great biggie said "Call the coroner...It's going to be a lot of slow singing and flower bringing once my burglar alarm starts ringing"

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