A 37-year-old man, who resides in Fields Lane in Roseau, was slapped with a $10,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.
Linden Narrine Lewis appeared before chief magistrate Evelina Baptiste on September 9, 2013 where the charge was read to him.
According to court reports, on September 6, 2013 at about 12:40 pm, members of the drugs squad were on foot patrol and Lewis was seen walking. He was asked if he had anything illegal in his possession and he replied “no.”
The police requested a search of his person and a foil wrapping, with 17 wrappers containing a white substance looking like cocaine, was found.
Lewis did not reply when questioned about the substance and he was arrested on suspicion of having a “Class A” drug such as cocaine in his possession.
It was not tested but weighed 5 grams with a street value of $85.00.
Zena Dyer, who represented Lewis, asked the court not to impose a custodial sentence on her client since he was “a first time offender and had pleaded guilty to the offense.”
She asked the court to “show mercy and leniency since he was sorry for his actions.”
Lewis, she told the court, promised not to find himself in court again and she was asking for a “chance” to be given to him.
However, chief magistrate Baptiste said while the amount was “small” the drug was “potent and destructive.”
“I think the public, like me, is concerned about the use of cocaine and the court needs to send out a clear message,” she said.
Lewis was first handed a $15,000 fine but after heavy persuasive arguing by his lawye,r who told the court that she found the fine “excessive,” it was reduced to $10,000 to be paid by January 31, 2014 or in default 7 months jail.
The maximum penalty is $50,000 or 18 months jail for possession of cocaine.