Bajan nabbed at E.T. Joshua with cocaine, over EC$10,000
From the Courts
September 7, 2007

Bajan nabbed at E.T. Joshua with cocaine, over EC$10,000

Barbadian Cori Branch should count himself lucky for not having to face a prison sentence, after pleading guilty to importing and having in his possession 3 rocks of cocaine, and knowingly making a false declaration on a Customs Declaration Form.{{more}}

On Sunday, August 2, Branch entered the country at the ET Joshua Airport, cleared Immigration and went to customs with a completed Customs Declaration Form. One of the questions on the form asked if he had currency exceeding EC$10,000 or its foreign equivalent. The question was explained to him, and he answered no to the question.

He was asked a second time by a customs officer in the presence of a police officer how much money he had. He responded by declaring Bds$4500, and told the officer that that was all he had.

He was then taken to the Narcotics Division, where a search revealed a leather folder containing Bds$6,542, and US$305 in his luggage. When added to the $4500 that he declared at the customs, it amounted to over EC$10, 000.

A further search of the luggage revealed 4 rocks of cocaine in the back pocket of a pair of pants.

In his defence, Branch told the court that he pleaded guilty to the cocaine charge because it was found in his pants, but he does not know anything about it, and he just wanted to go home. According to Branch, his brother, who deals drugs, usually wears his pants, and could have left the cocaine there.

In relation to the money, he told the court: “I came to the country to spend 13 days, and the money was to buy a vehicle.”

Defence attorney Arthur Williams asked the court to reprimand and discharge his client, since he had already agreed to have all his money forfeited.

Station Sergeant Butcher objected, saying in his experience, he had never seen a person reprimanded and discharged for cocaine.

When handing down his sentence, Magistrate Browne ordered that the money be forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Prevention Act, while Branch was reprimanded and discharged on the other matter. A Deportation Order was also put in place for him to return to Barbados on Monday.(SB)