Berbice taxi driver jailed for cocaine trafficking

Gordon Rohlehr, called ‘Major,’ was sentenced to serve three years in jail yesterday after he was found guilty of cocaine trafficking.

Rohlehr, a taxi driver of Smythfield, New Amsterdam, Berbice, was also fined $30,000 over the offence, which stemmed from a bust at his home, where police contended that he was selling cocaine.

Magistrate Omeyana Hamilton handed down the sentence at the New Amsterdam Court, where Rohlehr’s lawyer Mursaline Bacchus indicated that an appeal had been filed and requested bail. The magistrate denied the request.

Rohlehr was nabbed following a planned narcotics operation, headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Ian Amsterdam, on July 11, 2008.

Led in his evidence by Police Corporal Roberto Figueira, Amsterdam said that on receiving certain information, he marked two $100 bills and five $20 bills with his initials, prior to making an entry in the Station Diary, at Central Police Station. The marked money, he explained, was to be used in a planned raid at Rohlehr’s home.

According to Amsterdam, accompanied by Detective Constable 18380 Reynolds, he met a young man who agreed to act as a decoy and who was given the marked money. Amsterdam told the court that at 11:15 pm, near Rohlehr’s residence, he observed persons going up the front stairway and the defendant bending over his veranda, delivering what was suspected to be money and narcotics.

The decoy, Amsterdam said, spoke to Rohlehr, before handing him the money for the narcotics, prior to switching places with Detective Reynolds, in whose hand Rohlehr placed the cocaine.

Reynolds then alerted the occupants of the police presence before a search on the defendant’s wardrobe, where the marked money was found in a red and black plastic.

Rohlehr was arrested and taken to Central Police Station. There, when showed three pieces of rock-like substances and the marked money, he asked the investigator whether he was “doing the right thing”.

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