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Chateau man claims St Lucian tricked him with counterfeit notes

Chateau man claims St Lucian tricked him with counterfeit notes

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Chateaubelair resident Dillon Michael claims he came into possession of counterfeit money when he was tricked by a St Lucian man who gave him the fake notes when he sold him marijuana.

Michael appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, charged with being in possession of EC$4,100, which he knew or believed to be counterfeit.{{more}}

As a result, magistrate Carla James fined the unemployed man $3,000 to be paid in three months or in default, he would spend six months in jail.

The facts read out in court stated that on July 31, at about 1:15 p.m., police constable Rohan Walker was at a pharmacy in Kingstown when he overheard a conversation between two employees regarding a $100 bill.

Walker approached the employees and asked to see the money, which he agreed appeared to be counterfeit. He identified himself as a police officer dressed in civilian clothing and approached Michael who had made a purchase with the $100 and informed him of his observation.

Walker requested a search of Michael and discovered that he had 41 EC$100 notes in his possession. The monies were confiscated and after being examined by an expert, they were deemed to be counterfeit as suspected.

When cautioned, Michael replied, “I got the money by selling weed to a St Lucian in Fancy.”

In a plea of mitigation, Michael’s attorney Carlos James pointed out the irony of his client purchasing legal drugs with illegal tender, which he got from selling illegal drugs.

“He was always under the assumption that the currency passed to him was legal. I commend him for his honesty, although he sold illegal drugs,” James submitted.

James further noted that his client was purchasing medication for his diabetes and hypertension and that while in police custody, had to be hospitalized because he did not get his treatment. James also stated that Michael’s medical condition also affects his eyesight.

The attorney stated that Michael was trying to earn a “quick income” to send his four children to school when the new school year begins in September.

“At no time was Michael involved in the manufacturing or distribution of the counterfeit currency and his deficiency in vision could be what caused him to make the mistake,” James told the court. (CT)

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