A sixty-one-year-old drug dealer from the village of Mt. Granby in the Parish of St John was sentenced to seven years and three months behind bars last Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of trafficking the controlled drug marijuana, an incident that dated back to April of 2015.
Chief Judge Madam Justice Paula Gilford presiding at the Number Two Supreme Court in St George’s had the sentence handed down on the convicted man Errol Sylvester John despite a strong plea of mitigation made on his behalf by defence counsel George Prime.
Errol was arrested in February of 2014 following a major drug bust on the western side of the island resulting in the seizure of some 182 pounds of compressed marijuana with a street value of just over EC $ 417, 000.00 dollars.
According to information at the time, officers attached to the Drug Squad acting on special intelligence intercepted a bus coming from Tivoli in St. Andrew’s late on the night of February 14th. A search was carried out on the bus and a number of bags containing the illegal drug were discovered.
Errol who initially told the police he had gotten a ride on the bus that night, was later charged with possession and trafficking a controlled drug.
After some two years awaiting trial, in May of 2016, Errol pleaded guilty to trafficking, accepting full responsibility for his action.
During his sentencing hearing, last Friday defence Counsel George Prime in his plea asked the court for leniency on behalf of his client given that fact he pleaded guilty, did not waste the court’s time and was sorry for what had transpired.
Prime hinted to the court that his client had been willing to plead guilty at the magistrate’s court; however, the plea had not been accepted. He further added that a matter of such nature should have been dealt with at the magistrate Court rather than at the high court. He urged the court to have justice tempered with mercy and impose a sentence that would afford Errol the opportunity to reintegrate back into society.