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Shopkeeper jailed for coke

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“I will not give you the opportunity to pay a fine. You are going straight to jail.”
Those were the words Senior Magistrate Carl Joseph directed to Emmanuel Richards of Walvaroo on Monday.{{more}}
Richards, a shopkeeper, pleaded guilty to possessing 14 grammes of cocaine with intent to supply when he appeared before the Number one Kingstown Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to four months in prison.
Richards was arrested last Friday when police searched his shop.
The court heard that while the police were searching the shop, Richards teased them saying, “All yuh can’t get anything. All yuh can’t get anything. Yuh hear all yuh can’t get anything.”
The court also heard that a search was conducted on Richards’ person and a bag with four rocks of cocaine was found in his underwear. Following the discovery of the cocaine, police seized EC$105 and US$2.
Police said they “strongly believe” Richards sold cocaine.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Ekron Lockhart, contended that Richards sold the “dangerous substance” at a shop “where little children” went.
Richards told the court that a man came to his shop and purchased some items. And, instead of paying cash for the items, he threw a bag on the counter. He said when he searched the bag, he saw some “stones,” which he admitted were cocaine. He contended that the police got the drug on the counter.
Asked if he knew the effects cocaine could have on people, Richards said yes. He further said that it could damage the brain.
“You have a shop and yet you have cocaine readily available for sale?” the Senior Magistrate asked Richards.

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