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13 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews Dominican magistrate fines Vincentian national $63,000.00 for drug related offenses by: – January 19, 2012 Tweet Share Share Irwin MillerChief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste has fined a Vincentian national a total of $63, 000.00 on four drug related offenses.Forty-nine year old Irwin Miller of St. Vincent was on the 6th of January, 2012 intercepted by police officers during a drug bust in Soufriere along with four other men. Miller pleaded guilty on 9th January, 2012 to four charges; possession of Cannabis, possession with intent to supply Cannabis, Importation of Cannabis and illegal entry and was not required to plea for the fifth charge of conspiracy to import Cannabis as it is an indictable offense.According to Police Prosecutor Inspector Claude Weekes who presented the facts; “On 6th January, 2012 the Drug Squad Unit and Marine Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force were on an anti-drug operation in the Soufriere/Scotts Head area dressed in military wear and armed with relevant equipment. About 1:30am Sergeant Daniel who was in charge of the operation along with other police officers, noticed an open keeled boat approaching the island and it appeared to be approaching from Martinique. With the aid of night vision goggles the officers noticed the Defendant [Irwin Miller] in the boat. The officers kept their surveillance until the boat came on the beach on the Atlantic side of Scotts head. As the boat came in closer it was clear to the officers that someone else was with the Defendant. As the officers continued their surveillance the Defendant and other men disembarked from the boat and took from the boat a nylon bag and boarded a bus registration number PJ033. Shortly thereafter the officers also witnessed arrival of another man who came to the area where the boat was. Corporal Jno. Lewis P who was in charge of another section of men was given certain instructions and based on these instructions were able to intercept the bus and having stopped the bus, the police officers approached the bus. In that bus was the Defendant along with others and during a search of that bus a nylon bag was found with alleged Cannabis weed in a package. At that point the Defendant told the officers that he was suffering from a wound and in pain. They probed him ad saw that he had a wound in his waist area. The Defendant was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital for observation and was admitted to the Alford Ward while the other men were detained. On Sunday January 8th, 2012 he was discharged from the hospital and remanded in custody while the police continued their investigations. The Defendant, Miller was cautioned and asked to account for the marijuana and he replied, “I just bring that down from St. Vincent officer”. Corporal Jno. Lewis asked the Defendant for his travelling documents and probed him as to how he arrived here. He explained that he left without travelling documents namely a passport and had not done any declaration. Corporal Jno. Lewis took a representative sample of the alleged Cannabis in the presence of the Defendant and others to be sent to the Government Laboratory for analysis and testing. On Monday 9th January, 2012 the samples were positively tested to be marijuana by the Government Laboratory and they furnished the police with copies of their findings. As the investigation concluded, Corporal Jno. Lewis informed the Defendant of the offenses, he was formally cautioned and the charges were instituted. The Defendant is not known in this jurisdiction.”The nylon bag containing 22lbs/10 kilos of Cannabis was tendered into evidence as well as the representative samples and laboratory report. Attorney at Law Wayne Norde in making a plea in mitigation for his client told the Court that his client is 42 years old, the father of 5 children who are very dependent on him, a carpenter involved in the construction industry and often works as a maintenance man for hotels in St. Vincent.According to Norde, his client is a first time offender and that his instruction from his client is that “he got into the boat by error from St. Vincent as the boat drifted”. He explained that the Police might corroborate that his client came to Dominica in error as he was dressed in construction boots and cement torn jeans indicating that he had just come from a long day of work. According to Norde, a drug dealer would not have come dressed in such attire.Norde told the Court that his client is very remorseful and sorry that he found himself in such a situation where he came into an island where he does not know anybody and they are begging of the Court that a forceful fine be imposed but not a direct custodial sentence. He asked that his client be given a chance to return to his homeland and care for his family and children who are dependent on him. He concluded, “Be very, very lenient on him because of the unfortunate situation he found himself in”.Chief Magistrate Baptiste in sentencing the Defendant said that she must consider the prevalence of these kinds of offenses within the society and their known destructive nature as well as the use and the supply of drugs in our society. Magistrate Baptiste also told Norde that she did not quite agree with his plea in mitigation and asked; “Do you see what is happening to our young people, do you see what’s happening on the streets, do you see how many of them I have to send to the Psychiatric Unit? The public is demanding more but we are confined by the law. Some of them say the magistrate is too weak but they don’t realize that we are confined by the law.”On the illegal entry charge Magistrate Baptiste sentenced Miller to pay $3000.00 forthwith or in default serve 9 months imprisonment, on the possession of Cannabis charge $5000.00 forthwith or in default serve 9 months imprisonment, on the possession of Cannabis with intent to supply charge $20, 000.00 forthwith or in default serve 11 months imprisonment and on the importation of Cannabis charge $35, 000.00 forthwith or in default serve 1 year imprisonment. The Defendant has to $63, 000.00 to the Court immediately or will serve the prison sentences which will run concurrently.Meanwhile, John Sylvester of Portsmouth who was arrested along with the Defendant and pleaded not guilty to the charges has been remanded in custody for seven more days as he does not have a suitable surety. Yohan Flynn of Bath Road and Craig Cochrane of Upper Kingshill who were also arrested and charged with the Defendant received bail on 16th January, 2012. Yohan Flynn was the only one of the other Defendants who returned to Court for the sentencing of Miller.Dominica Vibes News
First Lieutenant warms up for a potential tilt at the Crabbie’s Grand National with a spin over hurdles at Thurles on Thursday. Trainer Mouse Morris said: “We’ve decided to give him a run over hurdles to prep him up for Aintree, or wherever he’s going. “He seems in great form at home. He’s been hunting and he seems a happy horse at the moment. “He looks like a horse for Liverpool. I think going around there might just perk him up a bit, but we’ll just wait and see what happens.” First Lieutenant faces just three rivals and has at least a stone in hand on official ratings. Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh team up with Rolly Baby, while Colin Bowe’s Gold Patrol must concede weight all round. Daniel Howard’s Archie Meade completes the quartet. Press Association The three-times Grade One winner has found life tough against the best staying chasers in Ireland this season, finishing down the field in the Jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal and in the Lexus Chase and the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown. He now reverts to the smaller obstacles for the first time in almost four years in the Thurles Racecourse Hurdle over three miles.