From the Courts
August 14, 2012
Union Island resident fined $15,000 for ganja possession

Monty Browne, a resident of Union Island, was on Monday fined $15,000 to be paid within six months or be imprisoned for a period of two years, after pleading guilty to being in possession of 23,680 grams of cannabis.{{more}}

According to the details which were heard in the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Browne’s vessel was intercepted off the point of Bequia on August 11 by the Coastguard, as it was making its way from mainland St Vincent to Union Island.

Following a brief chase, it was noted that Browne threw three bags, which contained the drugs, overboard.

He pleaded guilty to the charge.

When asked by Senior Magistrate Donald Browne to give the court a reason for his action, the man responded that he was in need of some cash.

Browne’s counsel Raymond Cadette asked Magistrate Browne to exercise some mercy, especially since it was the man’s first offence.

But Magistrate Browne was a bit hesitant, saying that the man did not have the money and even if he were to reduce the sentence, the man would still have difficulties to provide the funds.

The magistrate also reminded those in the court that it was not so much if the man would have been able to pay the fine, but it was also about the offence committed.

Magistrate Browne reminded the court of the penalties for being charged with possession with intent to supply, which included a maximum jail sentence of seven years and a $500,000 fine.

He said that there was nothing stopping the court from imposing the maximum penalty.

“People better realize the enormity of the criminal activity that they are getting involved in,” Magistrate Browne said.

Monty was ordered to pay $5,000 forthwith, with six months to pay the remaining $10,000, or face imprisonment for two years.

The vessel was confiscated. (DD)