Police found heroin, cocaine in Marsa stables drug raid

Police say more than three people have been arrested in connection with drug raid; court hears description of raid

A police raid carried out on a number of stables in Marsa yielded 40 packets of heroin, 18 grams of heroin, and 80 grams of heroin, a court heard today.

This was information was presented to the court during the compilation of evidence against Rosario Cortis, 31, of Qormi, and Carmel Muscat, 40, of Rabat. The two men are pleading not guilty to being in possession of cocaine and heroin that denoted that it was not for their personal use.

Testifying, Prosecuting Inspector Gabriel Micallef told the court that on 29 August police carried out the raid in Triq it-Tigrija Marsa.

The court heard that upon arriving, the police broke through a locked gate, and subsequently made their way to the stables. Two other teams – which included drug squad personnel – made their way from Triq is-Serkin and Triq it-Tigrija.

The court heard that after police arrived on the third level of the complex, the accused, Rosario Cortis and Carmel Muscat, came out of a stable.

A subsequent search yielded 18 grams of heroin, a bag containing 80 grams of cocaine and 40 packets of heroin on a work bench. Moreover, police found another bag of drugs atop a digital scale, a knife with brown powder, as well as a blender. Another bag of heroine was found in another stable.

The court also heard that more than three people were arrested. So far, three people have been arraigned in court: Richard Cortis, Carmel Muscat, and Erika Vella – 27-year-old pregnant woman who was found locked in a garage while packing drugs.

The three were all arraigned on 31 August and were subsequently granted bail.

The defence is claiming that Cortis recently bought a mare and he did not have room where to put it. As a result, the defence held, the accused kept his mare inside the stable where the drugs were found.

Cortis is claiming to have been feeding his mare at the time of the drug raid, while his fellow accused is adamant that he too had nothing to do with the drugs as he was helping Cortis feed his mare.

Moreover, during cross-examination by defence lawyer Marion Camilleri, the police witnesses said that the owner of the garage is still unknown and that at the time of the drug raid, no one else was there.

Inspector Gabriel Micallef is prosecuting, while Lawyers Marion Camilleri and Franco Debono are representing the accused.