Ex-customs officer stood to gain $90k in drug case

| 27/02/2019 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

David Lobo

(CNS): David Lobo (33), a former customs officer from Bodden Town who was convicted of smuggling almost two kilos of cocaine into Cayman, stood to gain more than $90,000 from the sale of the drugs brought here by a South American drug gang if the authorities had not busted the conspiracy, a senior prosecutor told the court Wednesday. Lobo, who was in court for a sentencing hearing alongside two drug mules and two other conspirators in the case, is facing a lengthy jail term. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted following a trial in January.

As Patrick Moran, the acting director of public prosecutions, reviewed the details of the case for the judge who will decide the fate of all five men, he described the former enforcement officer with the customs department as being a leading player in the effort to bring the cocaine into Cayman in June 2017.

The cocaine was brought by two mules, who swallowed it, after it had been converted to liquid form, in multiple condom-wrapped pellets.

But Moran said that if the gang had not been caught, which the crown contends was the case in a previous successful importation of drugs just a few weeks before, Lobo could have sold the drugs on.

While the crown said it had no evidence to suggest Lobo was going to sell it himself directly at the street level, the drugs had a minimum estimated street value of some CI$90,000. Lobo could therefore have netted a hefty profit, as the evidence suggested he had agreed to pay around US$26,000 for the cocaine in the deal he made with his co-conspirators.

Lobo was the only one of the five men charged in this case not to enter a guilty plea, opting to deny all of the allegations. At trial he claimed that his connection to the drug smuggling gang was only as a result of the importation of Colombian artefacts and that he knew nothing about the drugs. He was nevertheless convicted by a jury after he had given evidence in his own defence.

Two of his co-defendants, Alan Taylor Dominguez and Lesme Perez Ruiz, Colombian and Venezuelan nationals, who were described by the crown as the organisers, gave evidence against him after they made early admissions following their arrest and entered guilty pleas.

Two other men, Jose Ferrini and Yoandry Molina, both from Venezuela, were the mules who swallowed the drug-filled condoms and were paid $2,000 for their risky role in the smuggling operation. They were both convicted in Summary Court more than 18 months ago but they have not yet received their sentences.

Given that they were part of the wider conspiracy, however, they will be sentenced by the same Grand Court judge, who will act as a magistrate in their case in order to ensure consistency with all of the convicted men commensurate with their part in the smuggling operation.

Following the crown’s submissions on the sentencing, the case was adjourned until next month, when lawyers for all five of the men will make their pleas in mitigation.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Pure unadulterated greed. Some people work very hard while some prefer to turn to a life of crime. You do the crime, you do the time. The courts need to send a crystal clear message that this type of behavior is unacceptable.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, this wasn’t just greed, or a solo show. This went on for many many years and several investigations, where he was subsequently put back in trusted gatekeeper position. On some level he must have really gotten-off on the double-life evil and felt he was so key and untouchable that he would never go down. That’s not greed, that’s egomania and criminal proclivity in action. We should ask how he felt so comfortable all these years: ie. which other highly positioned people had been or are still trusted to muddle or spring folks from investigation, and/or carry on trade if caught?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Greed…the downfall of many. It’s scary how our own (politicians alike) do not consider the impact that their choices have on the young (and old) but especially the young people of the Cayman Islands (Cayman Brac INCLUDED).

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  3. Anonymous says:

    i found david to be a nice guy at church…he still is a nice person…?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nice criminal

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well, perhaps you can be forgiven for having been a very poor judge of character, but we would hope, when confronted with the realities exposed by previous court cases and this most recent conviction, that you might have been able to revise your misplaced opinion. Keep in mind he abused his position of great trust for years as a key positioned gatekeeper in an international drug circuit that, among other things, forced women to swallow condoms of cocaine and paid the survivors only $2000. Not his first rodeo either.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Can we get a register for all Brackers living in Grand Cayman so we can see how many is over here working and contributing to the Grand Cayman economy since the Brac is according to the idiots is not part of the Cayman Islands.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Man, don’t know what a Bracer ever did you but i can only guess ??????

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Free Lobo Bobo !

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  7. Anonymous says:

    “Lobo was the only one of the five men charged in this case not to enter a guilty plea, opting to deny all of the allegations.”
    This young man needs to face consequences for his involvement. What is sad is that Lobo probably feels no shame for the hurt that the cocaine would cause Cayman.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    DEPORT ALL after serving sentences especially Lobo

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