From the Courts
August 3, 2012
Another Bajan jailed for drugs

A Barbadian man who tried to smuggle drugs because he was “between a rock and a hard place” will spend the next 18 months in jail.{{more}}

Antonio Griffith is the most recent person to join the increasing number of Barbadians imprisoned here for drug-related offences.

He appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to possession of 9,534 grams of cannabis, found in his luggage at the E.T. Joshua airport on Monday at about 9:55 a.m.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to export the drug.

Chief Magistrate Sonya Young sentenced Griffith to 18 months in jail on each count.

The sentences will run concurrently.

The court heard that while Griffith was clearing customs at the airport, officials saw several packages in his suitcase, which had been placed on the screening machine.

The suitcase was taken off the machine and a officials found several taped packages containing the illegal drug.

When cautioned, Griffith told officers that a Guyanese man in Barbados asked him to bring the drugs for him.

In court, Griffith told the Chief Magistrate he was “between a rock and a hard place.

“I know I made a wrong decision. I was going through family stress and financial problems and I decided to take the drug and now I have to pay the cost…,” Griffith said.

He apologised to the people of this country for his actions and pleaded with the magistrate to give him a chance to make things right with his family.

The magistrate asked Griffith how he was expecting to go through customs with the drugs.

When displayed in court, the suitcase contained a few articles of clothing and the court was informed that the well-taped packages were not hidden.

“I was under pressure and I took a chance,” Griffith told the magistrate.

“I can’t imagine how foolish somebody would be in this day and age to walk with this drug just like that in a suitcase. It’s not hidden in anyway; it was just sitting in the suitcase. It’s like you wanted to get caught…,” the magistrate said.

The magistrate described Griffith’s act as “blatant” and “disrespectful”.

“I just can’t understand that it was a lapse of judgement and that you thought you would have made it out. I can’t imagine what you were thinking, unless you had some arrangement it would get through,” she said.

Over the past weeks, the Serious Offences Court has sentenced 3 Barbadians to jail time for drug possession.(KW)