From the Courts
February 3, 2017
Magistrate fines man $2,100 for cocaine possession

A 21-year-old man was on Wednesday fined EC$2,100 after he pleaded guilty to having 13 grams of cocaine in his possession.

Jovanie Pierre was formally charged that on May 12, 2016 in Kingstown he had three grams of cocaine in his possession. He was also separately charged for having 10 additional grams of the drug.

According to police, PC 788 McKie met Pierre at the Grenadines wharf being escorted to the security booth at Gate Six with another person. Mckie observed that while Pierre was walking to the booth he dropped something, which was later determined to be a white plastic bag containing cocaine.

When officers brought their discovery to Pierre’s attention he replied, “Officer, ah cocaine weh me find down the road.”

Pierre was arrested and taken inside the booth.

Officers then noticed that he was leaning to the left with a tightly folded fist. He refused to open his hand when asked to do so by officers and when they forced his hands open, they found a white powdery substance, and he said, “Officer, is cocaine.”

During mitigation, Pierre’s attorney Grant Connell said that his client is extremely remorseful for his actions, adding that he is not a supplier or a seller of the drug.

“It was a poor judgement call on his part,” said Connell, who then urged the court not to impose a custodial sentence to tarnish the young man’s record.

However, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias said looking at Pierre raises some concerns that Belle Isle could address.

But instead of giving him a custodial sentence, the Chief Magistrate ruled that the 21-year-old pay $2,100 forthwith.

Pierre was fined $600 forthwith for the three grams of cocaine, in default three months in prison and $1,500 for the 10 grams of cocaine, in default nine months in prison.

“I don’t want Mr Pierre to be hooked on any powdery substances,” said Browne-Matthias, who later told Pierre to break his addiction if he uses the drug.

“The effects of cocaine are deadly.”

The Chief Magistrate further scolded Pierre, reminding him that he is lucky to have counsel because she does not tolerate such offences. (AS)