The Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld the convictions and four-year sentence handed to an Abaco businessman convicted of drugs and firearms offenses.
Charles Bodie, a tow truck driver and a mechanic, was arrested on October 7, 2022 at his business on the SC Bootle Highway in Central Abaco. Bodie lives at the same location.
While armed with a search warrant, officers went to Bodie’s business, BER Automotive, an auto towing and repair shop.
The officers found a total of 2,900 pounds of marijuana, two kilos of cocaine, three firearms, firearm magazines and an assortment of ammunition in the interior of a white Chevy Express, registration number AJ 1834 and a Dodge Caravan, registration no. SA 0569, both of which were parked on Bodie’s property.
The Chevy Express was parked about 25 feet away directly opposite the appellant’s office and the Dodge Caravan was parked about 25 feet directly opposite his residence.
Bodie was arrested and charged with possession of drugs, firearms, component parts of a firearm and ammunition.
When questioned by the police, Bodie said a man whom he only knew as Bird left the vans on his property after asking about storage rates.
At the trial, Bodie identified Bird as Andrew Kikivarakis, who was murdered on September 28, 2022, after police seized the contraband.
Bodie said at the time of seizure, he had about 200 cars on his property. He said that Bird paid him for one vehicle and he did not give him a receipt.
Magistrate Samuel McKinney convicted Bodie in June 2023.
The magistrate did not believe that the vehicles containing a large quantity of drugs, firearm and ammunition were placed on his property without Bodie’s permission.
The Court of Appeal said, “We can find no fault in the way that the magistrate dealt with the issues and came to his conclusion having weighed the evidence of the police officers and the evidence of the appellant.
“Simply put, he believed the police officers and he did not believe the appellant. We cannot fault him in arriving at that decision having applied the legal principles to the facts of the case.”
David Cash represented Bodie and Darnell Dorsette was the prosecutor.