Antigua and Barbuda football officials Danny Benjamin (front), equipment coordinator; and Derrick Edward, assistant coach, making their way inside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court (photo: Jamaica Observer)

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA; TUESDAY DECEMBER 04, 2018 – The two member of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team technical staff, have given the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association one week to complete the investigation being conduction by the ABFA.

The investigation by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association was prompted when national assistant coach Derrick Edwards and equipment manager Danny Benjamin were arrested and charged in Jamaica earlier this year for possession of marijuana.

The two were arrested as they and members of the Antigua and Barbuda football squad prepared to leave the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday, March 26 2018, following a 1-1 draw with Jamaica’s the Reggae Boyz at the Jamaica National Stadium.

Both were taken into custody by the police after a backpack containing two rectangular packages of approximately 3.6 pounds of cannabis was reportedly found in a false compartment of a checked luggage.

Edwards and Benjamin were questioned and charged with possession of cannabis, dealing in cannabis, taking steps to export cannabis, and conspiracy. It was subsequently reported by the Jamaica Observer that they might have been set up.

The charges were subsequently dropped for lack of evidence, and the two officials have urged the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association to conclude internal investigations on the incident or face external action.

The ABFA had promised to launch an investigation of their own, but to the frustration of the pair, there are yet to be any revelations made.

According to equipment manager Danny Benjamin in an interview with the Antigua Observer: “He [Everton Gonsalves] gave us his word when we came in [from Jamaica] on the 18th of June [2018] that the investigation would take at least two weeks. I heard him on another interview talking about the investigation and that they have two other people to interview and that one is probably out of the country and one is probably still here”

Benjamin was adamant that “We know the steps we are going to have to take if we don’t get this thing resolved. We will give them at least a week to come up with a finding and if they don’t then we will have to do what we have to do.”

According to an April 01, 2018 report in the Jamaica Observer: “investigations by the Jamaica Observer have so far shown that at least one of the accused men charged with trafficking in ganja last week, might have been set up.

“Information reaching the Sunday Observer suggests that Edwards was bewildered that his luggage was found to contain the drug in two rectangular packages, said to weigh a shade under four pounds, as he was, over the years, not known to be involved in either smoking or selling of ganja or any other substance, including tobacco, inside or outside of the tiny Eastern Caribbean island.

“Word later emerged that the drug belonged to someone else in the squad, who has since flown back to Antigua. Officials in that country have told the Sunday Observer, that they are aware of who the drug belonged to and were conducting further investigations in respect of the individual.

“I don’t know anything about the involvement of Danny (Benjamin) and I just cannot comment on that because I don’t know the man, but I know for sure that ‘Pretty Boy’ is innocent,” said a high-ranking member of the Antigua and Barbuda football fraternity. “I won’t swear for everybody, but I know that Pretty Boy is not one that would get mixed up in those things. He is a clean and decent man who has represented his country over the years with distinction and I know too well that at this stage in his life he would never go and mess up himself like this,” the official said.”