Jermaine Stuffle, charged in January with possessing 605 grammes of cannabis for trafficking, was yesterday jailed for four years when he made his final appearance in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. He was also fined $544,500.
Stuffle was caught in a January 21, 2014 raid by police ranks on his 3048 North Ruimveldt home. His girlfriend, Marcia James, was also charged but was freed yesterday.
According to the police’s facts, officers had gone to the home at about 16:00hrs and had gained entry into the yard. Upon knocking on the door, James opened it and the officers identified themselves. Stuffle soon approached and the duo was told by the ranks that they wanted to do a narcotics search. The couple assented and the search was conducted, soon revealing the marijuana hidden in a hole in a kitchen cupboard. The illicit substance, it was revealed, was hidden in a number of Ziploc bags.
The bags were shown to the defendants and they were both cautioned. Stuffle immediately claimed the narcotics as his and informed the officers that his girlfriend had no knowledge of the hidden substance. The substance was weighed and amounted to 605 grammes. Stuffle was subsequently invited to CANU and the allegations were put to him. Once again, he admitted that the marijuana was his and proceeded to sign the statement entered into the questioning officer’s diary. Later, when James was questioned, she denied any knowledge of the discovered marijuana.
In yesterday’s proceedings before Magistrate Ann McLennan in court 2, Stuffle was found guilty of the crime. Prosecutor Deniro Jones was able to prove beyond a doubt the prerequisites necessary for one to be found guilty of narcotics trafficking including the existence of the said drug, the possession of the drug and that the drug was for trafficking purposes.
Though Stuffle subsequently denied the initial confession on the date of his arrest, Prosecutor Jones’ case was found to be solid.
However, a case against James could not be upheld due to the difficulty posed in tying her to the drugs since she did not reside in the North Ruimveldt home. Consideration was also given to the fact that James was in the bedroom at the time of the search.
Stuffle was given an opportunity to dissuade the court from meting out the maximum penalty and eagerly took the chance. “Your Worship, Your Worship, all I saying is if you find me guilty be a `lil lenient on me.” the mason beseeched. In the determination of Stuffle’s fine, a number of factors were considered, including the street value of a gramme of cannabis. After Prosecutor Jones informed Magistrate Mc Lennan that the current value was $300 per gramme, this figure was multiplied by the quantity and then by three times. Hence, a fine of $544,500 was decided upon along with the four years of imprisonment.