By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAGISTRATE yesterday said he was “lost for words” in the case of a 52-year-old woman who admitted that she agreed to traffic drugs into the Department of Correctional Services.
Enid Rolle of Stapledon Gardens made a second appearance before Magistrate Andrew Forbes within 24 hours of pleading not guilty to possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
She and 45-year-old corrections officer Irvin Bodie Jr were further arraigned on Wednesday on an additional charge of conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
While both pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy, Rolle changed her initial denial for possession of drugs to one of admission.
Magistrate Forbes admitted he was “somewhat lost for words on how Mrs Rolle managed to involve herself in trafficking offences.”
“I guess the mitigating circumstances are the amount of drugs involved, her lack of previous convictions and pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity. But concerning the aggravating circumstances, it is a trafficking offence, seeking to supply drugs for sale or otherwise.”
“It’s an offence that carried between zero to seven years on a first conviction. Why, Mrs Rolle, a married woman, would place herself in that position is unfathomable,” the magistrate added.
Rolle was formally convicted of the offence and was told that she could pay a $1,500 fine or spend six months in prison.
It was alleged that both plotted and were in possession of seven ounces of marijuana on Sunday, March 13. Police prosecutor Supt Ercell Dorsett gave further particulars to the magistrate concerning the case against Rolle.
He noted that around 2.50pm on the day in question, Drug Enforcement Unit officers acted on a tip that led them to an apartment off Tonique Williams-Darling Highway where they saw a burgundy coloured Honda CR-V vehicle occupied by a woman driver.
Officers approached the vehicle and spoke to the driver who they informed of their suspicion that she was in possession of illegal narcotics.
The police searched the accused’s handbag and found a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana.
She was cautioned and taken into custody for questioning.
“She claimed those were cigarettes she’d gotten from a friend. A prison officer by the name (of) Irvin,” the prosecutor added.
The accused was taken to the Grove Police Station and then to DEU where she was interviewed about the drugs.
“During the interview, she told police she’d taken Irvin on shopping errands and then dropped him off. He gave her the bag and told her to bring it back later on that evening when bringing food to him at the prison,” the court heard.
Magistrate Forbes asked Rolle if she disagreed with the facts presented in court and she said no she did not.
“I agree with it,” she added.
Her lawyer, Tamara Taylor-Storr, suggested that her client’s behaviour “is out of character.”
“She’s been married over 30 years with one child and she’s very remorseful for this, your worship,” Ms Taylor-Storr stressed.
“She has no previous convictions or pending matters before the courts. In fact, this is her first time before any court, your worship. She’s made a mistake and I’m certain she’ll never make it again. This is a matter the court should consider a fine and not a custodial sentence,” the lawyer suggested.
Though the police prosecutor offered no response to the submissions made, Magistrate Forbes said it was “unfathomable” that Rolle placed herself in a position to face up to seven years of prison.
Though Rolle was convicted of the offence, she was not given an outright custodial sentence.
“The court orders you to pay a fine of $1,500 or six months in prison if the fine is not paid,” the magistrate said.
“The fine will be paid today,” Ms Taylor-Storr told the court.
Supt Dorsett said the prosecution would withdraw the conspiracy charge against Rolle who was then discharged of the crime.
However, both charges of conspiracy and possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply remain against Bodie Jr who is on remand until his trial on May 31.