Three men, among them two Vincentians, charge in connection with an eight-hundred-thousand-dollar drug bust in the St. Mark’s area last Saturday have had judgment handed down against them last Tuesday during a special sitting at the Gouyave Magistrate Court.
Presiding Magistrate Francine Foster handed down the sentence on all three men; Shawn Blake and Rohan Primus both from the neighbouring island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and from Grenada Stephen Francis.
Acting on the advice of defence counsel Arley Gill both Blake and Primus accepted full responsibility for the illegal drugs by pleading guilty to the charge of trafficking. They were both fined $10,000.00 to be paid forthwith or spend two years in prison.
Francis on the other who was caught with four thousand, three hundred dollars at the time of the arrest, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was fined $500.00 to be paid forthwith or in default spend two months in prison.
On the charge of possession of a controlled drug, all three defendants were reprimanded and discharged. Prosecution opted to offer no evidence against them.
In addition to the drug-related charges, the men were also charged with violation of the COVID-19 regulations, there being in effect an island-wide curfew at the time of the incident.
The two Vincentians were charged with failing to confine themselves to their respective homes, entering and disembarking, failing to isolate and entering the state without consent. After entertaining arguments from the defence lawyer, the men were reprimanded and discharged on all charges.
In the case of Stephen, he too was reprimanded and discharged, his charge, failing to notify the authorities having come in contact with persons entering the state.
In addition to the judgment of the court, the prosecution sought from the court a forfeiture order that could see the confiscation of the boat and engine used by the men to carry out the illegal act.
The court also granted three thousand-dollars legal fees, in addition to the forfeiture of cash of $1330.00.
Also granted, on Tuesday was a removal order to have the men removed from Grenada, that, of course, would be determined by whether or not the sentence handed down by the court has been met.
Meanwhile, moments before the closure of this issue of the paper on Thursday this newspaper was reliably informed that the two Vincentians were still in Grenada at Her Majesty’s Prison awaiting settlement of the judgment hanging over their heads.