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Two Calliaqua men convicted for ganja

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Two men from Calliaqua were convicted for possessing 21,792 grammes (48 pounds) of marijuana with intent to supply when they appeared before the Serious Offences Court last week Thursday afternoon.
Jimmy Pierre, 29, was sentenced to 12 months in prison while Errol Abbott, 35, was fined $20,000 payable by July 30, with an alternative prison sentence of six months.{{more}}
Abbott, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was arrested at the E. T. Joshua Airport shortly after he checked in with a suitcase loaded with 11 taped packages of marijuana on March 3, this year. He was charged the following day. Pierre, who was then employed at Mustique Airways as a clerk, was arrested March 5, following further investigations.
Abbott told the court that on March 3, Pierre, whom he claimed was his cousin, gave him Bds$300 to purchase a plane ticket to Barbados. He said he went to Vincy Aviation at Arnos Vale, booked an afternoon flight and returned home where he met Pierre and his brother in the back yard.
“They were in the process of transferring from a red and black bag, bales of marijuana. They transferred the marijuana to a suitcase. When that was done there were a couple bales remaining and I took them and throw them into a bedroom which belonged to Jimmy. When that was done, Jimmy called a taxi, H54. I spoke with the driver and instructed him where to come to pick me up – which was by Jimmy,” Abbott stated.
Abbott also told the court, “He [the taxi-driver] took me to the airport and I checked in the suitcase. While I was in the departure lounge, the sergeant [from the Narcotics Division] came and asked me if I was Errol Abbott.”
Abbott further said that he was taken to the Narcotics Base where he was further questioned about his luggage and he admitted to the offence when cautioned in the presence of a Justice of the Peace.
Defence lawyer Ronald Marks, in cross-examining Abbott who was a prosecution witness, suggested that Abbott was trying to set-up Pierre who was uncomfortable with him lodging at his home and who had expressed disgust over allegations of homosexual activities. He further submitted that Abbott was “trying to sink Jimmy and save someone else” and that he was “lying to save his own skin”. But, Abbott vehemently denied that Pierre ever accused him of being a homosexual and that Pierre had a problem with him lodging at his home because of alleged homosexual activities.
Police Sergeant Desmond Haywood of the Narcotics Division told the court that at about 1.30 p.m. on March 3, he received certain information which caused him to go to the E. T. Joshua Airport where he met Abbott. He said he questioned Abbott about his luggage and asked him for his travel documents. He said he noticed a tag number on the back of his plane ticket and he took him to the Caribbean Star office where he retrieved the suitcase he had checked-in. He said he noticed that the electronically generated tag number on the suitcase matched the one on his travel ticket.
Sergeant Haywood said when the suitcase was searched, 11 taped packages of marijuana were found inside.
Pierre, in his evidence, denied the allegations by Abbott. He said he was on “sick leave” on March 3, because he was suffering from a “sore throat” and that between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day he was with his friend, Curtis Cupid, who also lived at Calliaqua.
Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman found Pierre guilty of the offence. She said his knowledge of the security system at the airport – because he worked with an airline – facilitated him in the drug transaction.
Abbott was represented in court by Samantha Robertson who asked the court to be lenient in sentencing him. She asked the court to impose a financial penalty instead of a custodial penalty.

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