Duo nabbed with 79 pounds of cannabis
Two young men, a Grenadian and a Vincentian, recently caught on a boat carrying 79 pounds of cannabis, must pay over $18,500 in fines between them for possession and trafficking.
This is in addition to the confiscation by the State of an unnamed vessel they were travelling on, valued at $17,000 ($12,000 for the boat, and $5000 for the engine).
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne sentenced Doneal Williams, a 24-year-old Grenadian, and Terrance Harry, a 26-year-old of Rose Hall on Wednesday, August 12 using the recent sentencing guidelines for drug offences formulated by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).
Prior to sentencing, Browne had heard the facts of the case on Friday, August 7, when it was outlined that on August 6, acting on information, the Rapid Response Unit’s Inspector Nolan Dallaway headed a party of officers on Coastguard vessel SVG#02, captained by Leading Seaman Morris, to the Cumberland area.
While on patrol searching for a boat from Grenada, they took into custody a black, blue and white boat, with the two defendants on board, along with several packages of Marijuana.
“Is Union me carry them” Williams told the police, although Harry said nothing.
Both were charged with possession of 35,866 g of marijuana and drug trafficking.
Defence counsel Grant Connell mitigated for Williams and Harry on August 10.
Last Wednesday, from the beginning of her sentencing exercise, the magistrate considered that the two had different roles: “Williams your role was significant, and Harry your role was lesser.” While Williams captained the boat, Harry was a passenger.
Browne, found it aggravating to the offence that the duo tried to escape initially, but weighed this against a lack of concealment, no attempt to dispose of the drug and their cooperation with the police from the inception.
Further, the men, who are young, had no previous convictions before the court.
This took the penalty to one which was not a jail sentence.
The chief magistrate started at a fine of $50,000. However, the men pleaded guilty and this was reduced by one third. The value of the boat was taken away from the fine.
Ultimately, for the offence of trafficking, Grenadian Captain Williams was fined $9000 forthwith with a default prison term of 11 months.
On the other hand, Harry was fined $7330, with $1330 to be paid forthwith, or he would spend a four-month term in prison. The $6000 remaining should be paid by December 14, or a nine-month prison sentence will activate.
For the possession of the drug an additional $1500 would have had to be paid by the Grenadian defendant forthwith, while Harry must pay $1000 by December 14.
Additionally, Williams, being a Grenadian, had four immigration charges and was fined for these.
For allowing himself to be landed as a prohibited immigrant Williams must pay $450; $300 for entering the state and disembarking without the consent of an immigration officer; another $300 for entering the state by boat without a passport; and $400 for entering other than at a port of entry. If not paid, sentences of one month in prison apply.
All terms will run concurrently.