Categorized | Local

Guilty pleas in Cannabis (Marijuana) charges earned huge fines

The 350kg suspected Narcotics are loaded into the back of a RMPF Police Van

earning fines of EC$75,000 (US$27,777) each in respect of Cadougan and Blugh, and $70,000 (US$25,926) in respect of Bowens, Baptiste and Weekes.

The quintuplet had faced five charges after they were arrested in connection with a large seizure of drugs on the morning, Friday, July 2, 2010 on the eastern coast of the island. The seizure was made with support from the visiting British naval ship, HMS Manchester. The drug haul of 350.5 kg in 12-25kg bales was declared to have a street value in the UK of over EC$6 million, but local officials put the local street value at about $2.2 million.
The five were arrested at sea with their boat and drugs were found on land after being sighted by the HMS Manchester helicopter pilots. They were charged jointly with charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, conspiracy to import a controlled drug, possession of cannabis sativa, and possession of cannabis sativa with intent to supply. They were each separately charged with conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, and conspiracy to import a controlled drug.

The convicted drug traffickers, who had been refused bail since they were arrested, opted to have their case heard in the Magistrate’s Court instead of the High Court where upon conviction on drug trafficking could have landed a life imprisonment sentence. Court officials say that the conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking charge had a ‘no sentence limit’ since it was a common law offence. The Possession of cannabis carries in the High Court a sentence up $200,000 or three years as against $100,000 or three years in the Magistrate’s Court.

According to legal representatives of the convicts they agreed to a ‘plea bargaining’ whereby they pleaded guilty to the charge of possession with intent to supply in exchange for the prosecution offering no evidence against them in the other four matters.

Kerry Cadougan and Allison Blugh received fines of $75,000 to be paid in three (3) months or two (2) years in prison; while Elvis Bowens, Danielle Baptiste, and Lennox Weekes were fined $70,000 to be paid in three months or two years in prison. The Court found that Cadougan and Blugh appeared to be the master minds in the drug operation and hence gave them the more severe fine.

Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell represented the defendants and told The Montserrat Reporter that he successfully fought forfeiture of the vessel and all items aboard, arguing that to the court it had no basis to forfeit the boat nor the items found on the boat. Those included items such as laptops, cell phones and other equipment.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The 350kg suspected Narcotics are loaded into the back of a RMPF Police Van

earning fines of EC$75,000 (US$27,777) each in respect of Cadougan and Blugh, and $70,000 (US$25,926) in respect of Bowens, Baptiste and Weekes.

The quintuplet had faced five charges after they were arrested in connection with a large seizure of drugs on the morning, Friday, July 2, 2010 on the eastern coast of the island. The seizure was made with support from the visiting British naval ship, HMS Manchester. The drug haul of 350.5 kg in 12-25kg bales was declared to have a street value in the UK of over EC$6 million, but local officials put the local street value at about $2.2 million.
The five were arrested at sea with their boat and drugs were found on land after being sighted by the HMS Manchester helicopter pilots. They were charged jointly with charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, conspiracy to import a controlled drug, possession of cannabis sativa, and possession of cannabis sativa with intent to supply. They were each separately charged with conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, and conspiracy to import a controlled drug.

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The convicted drug traffickers, who had been refused bail since they were arrested, opted to have their case heard in the Magistrate’s Court instead of the High Court where upon conviction on drug trafficking could have landed a life imprisonment sentence. Court officials say that the conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking charge had a ‘no sentence limit’ since it was a common law offence. The Possession of cannabis carries in the High Court a sentence up $200,000 or three years as against $100,000 or three years in the Magistrate’s Court.

According to legal representatives of the convicts they agreed to a ‘plea bargaining’ whereby they pleaded guilty to the charge of possession with intent to supply in exchange for the prosecution offering no evidence against them in the other four matters.

Kerry Cadougan and Allison Blugh received fines of $75,000 to be paid in three (3) months or two (2) years in prison; while Elvis Bowens, Danielle Baptiste, and Lennox Weekes were fined $70,000 to be paid in three months or two years in prison. The Court found that Cadougan and Blugh appeared to be the master minds in the drug operation and hence gave them the more severe fine.

Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell represented the defendants and told The Montserrat Reporter that he successfully fought forfeiture of the vessel and all items aboard, arguing that to the court it had no basis to forfeit the boat nor the items found on the boat. Those included items such as laptops, cell phones and other equipment.