Rose Place man jailed for cocaine possession
A man who threw himself into the sea in order to dodge the police after they ambushed him, has been incarcerated for possession and trafficking of cocaine.
Garnet ‘Flingo’ Wilkins, a 44-year-old father of four from Rose Place, had a previous criminal record, but he had been on the straight and narrow for 11 years.
However, this ended when he came before the Serious Offences Court (SOC) on Tuesday, October 13, charged with on October 11, at Lowmans Bay, having in his possession 1,266g of cocaine with intent to supply, 1,034g of cannabis with intent to supply, and having this cocaine in his possession for drug trafficking.
This prompted Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche to say that Wilkins had come out of retirement.
Delplesche told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne that the cocaine was his concern and said that he was disappointed and that Wilkins should know better.
The Rapid Response Unit (RRU) had been acting on information when Corporal 615 Williams headed a party of personnel to Lowmans Bay at around 2:45 pm on Sunday, October 11.
The officers walked along the beach and saw a brown Toyota car parked next to a boat at the said beach. They approached this vehicle and spoke to the driver, who told them that he was waiting to pick up one Glenlyn Lee who was coming on a boat. The officers entered the vehicle with the driver still inside, and about 30 minutes later they saw a white and blue boat with three occupants approaching the shore.
Men disembarked the boat and headed towards the vehicle, while carrying knapsacks on their backs. Lee was about to open the passenger door, which had been locked, when the police erupted from the car, and Corporal Williams shouted “Police” and “Don’t Move”. Lee froze, but Wilkins turned and hightailed it into the ocean with his knapsack.
The Corporal shouted “Police” several times, and fired three warning shots to make him stop, but Wilkins continued into the ocean. The defendant also took out three plastic bags from the backpack and threw them into the ocean.
Williams boarded the boat and instructed the Captain to start the boat, and the officers went and retrieved the packages and the defendant.
Back on shore, the officers were showing the packages to Wilkins, when it was realized that packages were already cut, revealing a plant like material and a solid white substance. Inside the knapsack they found a transparent plastic bag containing Marijuana.
“Officer I ain get that pon me, it’s in the sea water you find that. It’s only the transparent plastic is mine, wey get out of the bag,” Wilkins submitted.
Counsel Grant Connell mitigated for the defendant, as well as Glenlyn Lee before him, who was also found to be in possession of Marijuana.
Among his submissions, Connell said that the facts that the police compiled about the arrest of Wilkins were “correct to a point”. When his client came ashore he was met by police, and they did tell him to stop, but “there was a barrage of, discharge of bullets” he said, which the defendant thought were going in his direction.
“…So he jumped in the sea,” Connell submitted, and “in his fright” he didn’t realise he couldn’t swim, and the officers had to rescue him.
His client had an electronic interview in which he told the police his version, which seems to be that he found the packages and he thought they were cannabis.
The packages were wrapped in black squares, it was observed, unlike the brown taped packages that often come to the court. The counsel submitted that the cannabis is of a kind, the origin of which is not St Vincent. Further, he claimed that the packaging is more consistent from “those” in the south. He submitted therefore that ‘Flingo’s’ version could “possibly be true” because it may be indicative of something like a drug bust at sea gone wrong.
“Eleven years Flingo has walked the straight and narrow and in these times, given the circumstances, we humbly ask the court to impose a fine on him,” Connell said towards the end of his mitigation.
The prosecution said his piece, before the matter was stood down for the chief magistrate to deliberate.
The chief magistrate arrived at a sentence of one year and seven months on both the trafficking and possession of cocaine charges, which will run concurrently.
For the possession of the cannabis, Wilkins was fined $1600, to be paid forthwith, with a default of eight months in prison.
As he left for prison, the Rose Place resident’s mother and a woman who seemed to be his wife, both appeared to be crying.