By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 23-year-old man who was found with over a pound of marijuana was fined $1,300 on Friday.
Kevin Johnson was charged with simple possession and marijuana possession with the intent to supply after officers found one pound and 2.8 ounces of Indian Hemp worth $1,200 in his vehicle on October 15.
He pleaded guilty during a hearing before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes.
The court was told officers were on mobile patrol in the St Vincent Road area around 9.20am, when they observed a grey Nissan note with no car bumper traveling north on Owen Avenue.
The prosecution said the officers then beckoned for the car to stop and asked Johnson to exit the vehicle. It was at that time they noticed a brown paper bag on the passenger floor of the defendant’s car. When they examined it in his presence, officers discovered three black plastic wraps which each contained a quantity of suspected marijuana. The officers then searched Johnson and found $3,150 in mixed currency as well as a homemade cigarette in his pants pockets. The defendant was subsequently arrested. In an interview with police at a nearby station, he admitted to the offence.
During the hearing, Johnson was represented by attorney Ian Cargill. He told the magistrate his client had no pending matters or previous convictions. He also said the defendant was employed in the hotel industry and was currently in maritime school.
In response, Magistrate Forbes said he was generally disappointed when he saw people making decisions that lacked logic. He also said a maritime officer would require someone to be a logical thinker and told Johnson the “heartbreaking” fact was that if he had given his decision “full thought” he probably would not have committed the offences in the first place.
As a result, he urged Johnson to exercise better judgement in the future and subsequently fined him $1,200 or eight months in custody for marijuana possession with the intent to supply and another $100 for simple possession. A hearing to determine the fate of the money officers seized on the day of Johnson’s arrest is scheduled for December 4.
On Friday, two men who were caught smoking marijuana joints in their yard were ordered to attend drug counseling classes.
Police arrested Kevin Thompson, 43, and Lathor Thompson, 19, after they caught the cousins smoking two marijuana joints in their yard on October 8.
The court heard around 10.25am on the day in question, officers on mobile patrol on Commonwealth Boulevard observed Lathor sitting on a bucket in his yard smoking what appeared to be a homemade marijuana cigarette. When officers approached the defendant and questioned him, he told them he was smoking dope. While speaking with Lathor, officers also observed Kevin emerge from a wooden shack with a homemade cigarette in his right hand. He was then approached and informed he would be searched in reference to dangerous drugs and firearms. Upon inspecting the cigarette, officers discovered a half a gram of suspected marijuana in it. Both defendants were subsequently arrested and transported to the Drug Enforcement Unit. In an interview with police there, Kevin told officers he was smoking the joint to get high before he went to work, while Lathor declined to comment.
During the hearing, Kevin told the magistrate that he had been smoking for 15 years, while Lathor said he had just developed the habit.
As a result, Magistrate Forbes said he would give both men an opportunity to address their drug addictions. He subsequently granted both defendants a conditional discharge on the agreement they would attend drug counseling classes at the Department of Social Services.