(Searchlight)A Mckie’s Hill man who said he sells cocaine to assist his mother with the bills has been fined for being in possession of the drug after police found it hidden away in a dog pen.
Lemar “Chak” Isaacs, 21 appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on August 28 before Magistrate John Ballah where he pleaded guilty that on August 25, at Paul’s Avenue, he had in his possession eight grammes of cocaine with intent to supply to another.
According to the facts read in court, on Friday, August 25 Constable 1114 Roberts was among a party of officers who were carrying out a joint operation in Paul’s Avenue. As the party of men entered the area, they heard some voices shouting.
The police entered a shop and saw several persons in the area. Roberts noticed Isaacs coming from the back of the shop which aroused his suspicion since everyone else was trying to get away from the area. Roberts approached Isaacs and requested permission to search, but nothing was found on Isaacs.
Isaacs was taken to the back of the shop, where Roberts spotted a dog pen. When Roberts searched the pen, he found a transparent plastic bag with foil paper wrappings inside. Roberts opened the bag in the presence of Isaacs and PC 206 Morgan saw material which resembled cocaine.
When cautioned, Isaacs said, “Officer is mine, I hide it in the dog pen.” The offence was pointed out to Isaacs and he was taken into custody. The cocaine amounted to 34 rocks and the defendant was charged.
Prosecutor Coleen Samuel gave no antecedents. However, Isaacs said that he sells cocaine to help his mother pay the bills.
The magistrate referred to the guidelines and found that based on the quantity of the drug, the offence fell into category 4, and so a custodial sentence was not considered, but rather a fine with a starting point of $510.
Mitigating of the offence was the lack of sophistication of the offence as the cocaine was hidden in a dog pen. There were no aggravating factors, so when weighed against each other, the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors. Therefore $50 was deducted from the fine.
The court also found that there were no aggravating factors for Isaacs as an offender. However, the court considered his young age and reduced the fine by $50 resulting in $410
The magistrate then considered his guilty plea which offered him a one-third discount that is equivalent to $137 from his fine. This brought the final fine to $273 to be paid forthwith or one month imprisonment.