By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THREE Ministry of Works employees and a self-employed truck driver pleaded guilty to stealing by reason of employment and were ordered to pay $5,372 in fines and compensation before they are released from prison.
The amount is more than triple the value of the six tons of asphalt they were convicted of stealing from the Ministry of Works/Bahamix.
Ron Austin, Myron Smith, Kenley Saunders, Joseph Marshall and Dwain Campbell all stood before Magistrate Samuel McKinney for a status hearing on Friday.
Myron Smith pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set for March 6.
Ian Cargill represents Campbell, Alex Morley represents Smith, while Keith Seymour represents Austin, Saunders and Marshall.
The men are all Ministry of Works employees with the exception of Campbell, who will be appealing his sentencing on grounds that he is not employed by the ministry.
They were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit stealing by reason of employment and stealing by reason of employment.
Yesterday, Mr Cargill asked for lesser fines given Campbell’s testimony and early admission of guilt, and pointed out that he could not be charged with stealing by reason of employment if he was not an employee.
It is alleged that on the day in question, all five men conspired to, and consequently, stole six tons of asphalt, valued at $1,489.98 from the Ministry of Works/Bahamix, which they had access to by reason of their employment.
Yesterday, prosecutors said Campbell admitted to the theft and provided information during an interview with police, while the other men remained silent. It was further alleged the men went on a private job to pave the driveway of a private property on Wulff Road.
Magistrate McKinney told the men he would impose non-custodial sentences after taking into consideration their early admission of guilt.
Smith was remanded to prison, and the other four men will remain at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) until fines were paid in full.