Roberto Tico Harrigan and Earl Bob Hodge
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Earl Deville Hodge, also known as Bob Hodge, and ex Customs Officer, Roberto ‘Tico’ Harrigan were granted bail earlier today, February 14 at a special sitting of the Magistrate’s Court where Magistrate Shawn Innocent presided.
Both Hodge and Harrigan were arrested by local police on February 7, after the United States Government issued a fresh extradition request for the men in connection with an alleged drug ring.
Hodge was offered bail in the sum of $1M, while Harrigan was offered bail in the sum of $600,000. Each must pay $200,000 cash upfront as a part of their bail, along with two sureties available to sign.
The court further ordered that the men are to adhere to a strict curfew of 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, in addition to signing in at Road Town Police Station everyday.
Magistrate Innocent’s decision comes as a result of applications put forward by the defense attorneys of the defendants, Patrick Thompson and Stephens Daniel, last Friday, February 10.
Details of what transpired during the hearing are unknown, as both the media and family were barred from the proceedings.
In December 2014, Hodge and Harrigan, along with Chad Skelton and Carlston Beazer were freed after being held for three years.
High Court Judge, Madame Vicki Ann Ellis ruled that former Governor Boyd McCleary's decision to issue an Order to Proceed with an extradition hearing be quashed and that the matter be remitted to the Governor for reconsideration in accordance with the judgment of the court.
The men had challenged the Order to Proceed with a second extradition hearing ordered by McCleary on October 11, 2012.
The Judicial Review matter had resulted in a stay in the extradition proceedings at the Magistrate's Court.
There was also a fifth man, Juan Valdez, who holds dual citizenship for Antigua and Dominican Republic. He was repatriated following the December 2014 ruling.
The men were also charged locally, but prior to the completion of the extradition hearing, on October 12, 2012, the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the local charges as authorities placed emphasis on the second extradition request from the U.S.
At the time, several senior members of the legal fraternity shared with BVI Platinum News that the local charges against the men can be re-instituted at anytime, and also the U.S. government can make another request for them to be extradited at anytime.
In relation to the local charges, it was explained that this will have to be indictable since the statue timeframe for filing summary charges has expired.
Further, in relation to the U.S. making a third attempt, investigators will have to provide fresh evidence to the Governor for him to consider proceeding with a third extradition hearing.