Union Island resident ordered to pay $52,000 or face jail time
The second Union Island resident to appear in court on cocaine charges in recent times must pay $52,000 in fines by the end of this year or face imprisonment.
Joul Mills, 25 years old a resident of Ashton, Union Island first appeared at the Serious Offences Court (SOC) on the same day that Zipporah John, who also lives in Union Island, was taken before the court on charges of possessing 38,707g of cocaine.
John’s 85 pounds of cocaine was uncovered in sealed buoys in a barrel at her home on April 25, while Mills’ 2110g of cocaine was discovered concealed at his residence on April 23.
Both arrests were made by the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) in operations led by Corporal 771 Mikiel Bowens.
In Mills’ case, personnel from the RRU and the Union Island police station went to his and his brother Ekron Thomas’ residence at around 10:30p.m on April 23.
They had with them a search warrant as it was their intention to search for drugs, arms and ammunition.
On arrival at the two storey structure the officers met with Thomas’ girlfriend and teenage son.
When the Corporal asked where Thomas was, the officer was told he wasn’t at home.
During the search of the premises PC1015 Smart found a cornflakes box under the kitchen sink containing a brick of cocaine. Also found was a transparent bag of the powder, and a brick wrapped in plastic was found above the kitchen counter.
The girlfriend and son said they did not know anything about the substance. The search continued.
Mills was met in the lower floor of the two storey building which he occupies. An officer escorted him to the upper floor and showed him the drugs. Mills said he did not know anything about it.
All three occupants found at the house were arrested and taken to the Union Island police station along with the drugs.
Thomas’ girlfriend and son were cautioned and interviewed and continued to deny any knowledge of the substance. The police searched for Thomas but did not find him. However, he turned himself in. He said that he was not saying anything to the police without the presence of his lawyer but stated that the drugs did not belong to his girlfriend nor his son.
The suspects refused to put their initials on the packages of cocaine.
All were transferred to the Central Police Station on the mainland.
At an interview on the afternoon of April 25 – when he was accompanied by his lawyer, Grant Connell – Thomas denied all claims or knowledge of the cocaine found at his house.
Later that evening Mills was interviewed, also in the presence of counsel, Grant Connell and he admitted that he found the drugs at a beach in Richmond, took them home and hid them in the upstairs kitchen. Mills said no one else had knowledge of it.
Thomas was later discharged.
After initially maintaining his innocence to the charges, Mills changed his plea to guilty at the Serious Offences Court on Thursday, May 5.
Chief Magistrate, Rechanne Browne decided on a fine of $25,000 on the possession charge, with $5000 of this sum to be paid forthwith. Mills paid the $5000.
The balance of $20,000 must be paid by November 30 and if he defaults he will be imprisoned for one year.
On the charge of the possession for the purposes of drug trafficking Mills must pay $25,000 by December 22, or spend one year behind bars.
Mills also took ownership of 560g of cannabis which resulted in a fine of $600 forthwith or one month in prison.
John was sentenced four days afterwards and she has been ordered to spend 40 months in prison for possession for the purposes of drug trafficking which will run alongside a 36 month sentence for possession with intent to supply.