By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A BAHAMIAN pilot saw his prison sentence increased by nearly two years after the appellate court dismissed his appeal and granted the prosecution’s argument that his previous sentence was too lenient for his involvement in a $1 million drug seizure.
Justices Anita Allen, Neville Adderley and Jon Isaacs, last week quashed Darryl Bartlett’s previous sentence for charges stemming from his, along with former policeman Murrilo Sullivan and Canadian Michael Webster’s involvement in a $1m drug bust at the Lynden Pindling International Airport last year.
Bartlett, the son of a senior official in the office of the Attorney General, was initially charged with three counts of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, three counts of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply, three counts of conspiracy to import dangerous drugs and three counts of importation of dangerous drugs.
A magistrate subsequently convicted Bartlett on all counts and sentenced him to two and a half years on each count, to run concurrently.
On April 7, a police search of a Hawker Jet that had just arrived from Montreal, Canada, revealed four suitcases containing 149 lbs of marijuana, 17.4 lbs of ecstasy pills and 2.6 lbs of Hashish oil.
The marijuana has a street value of $670,000, the ecstasy pills are worth $360,000 and the hashish oil, $20,000.
Bartlett subsequently appealed the ruling, contending that the prosecution adduced no evidence to prove that he knew of the presence of the drugs on the plane.
The Crown, the respondent in the matter, cross-appealed on the ground that the sentence was “unduly lenient”, considering that Webster, one of the co-accused, pleaded guilty to the charges he faced and had his sentence of four years affirmed on appeal.
The judges dismissed Bartlett’s appeal in a written ruling last week.
Citing Barlett’s “role in the offences charged and the amount of drugs involved” as factors in the ruling, the appellate judges substituted a new sentence of: five years imprisonment on each of the three counts of possession with intent to supply dangerous drugs; five years on each count of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply; three years on each count of conspiracy to import dangerous drugs; and three years on each count of importation of dangerous drugs.
The sentences will run concurrently and are to take effect from February 24, 2015, the date of Bartlett’s conviction, the judgment said.