Vendors on drug charges after cops raid homes

Vendors Steffon Harry and Al Price were yesterday arraigned on separate narcotics charges after police raided their homes and uncovered cocaine and cannabis, respectively.

At the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Harry, accused of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, was granted $200,000 bail after Magistrate Fabayo Azore found that special circumstances relating to the offence had been made out.

It is alleged that on June 26, Harry, 35, of Lot 417 North East La Penitence, Harry had 250 grammes of cocaine in his possession. He denied the charge.

Prosecutor Ramsahoye Rambajue said that police discovered the substance when a search was conducted at Harry’s residence around 5am.

Counsel for the accused, Latchmie Rahamat, in an application for reasonable bail, contended that the accused was living with multiple occupants when the police raided their home while they were asleep.

Rahamat said her client was taken and shown the substance in the toilet, but he had no knowledge of it being there and or what it was.

In addition, she said, the defendant’s wife had also been taken into custody and was not released up to the time of the hearing.

In concluding her application, counsel advanced that these were special circumstances relating to the offence.

As a result, the magistrate set bail at $200, 000 and the matter was adjourned to July 10.

Meanwhile, the allegation against Price, 47, of Lot 500 North East La Penitence, is that on June 26, 10 grammes of cannabis were found in his possession.

Magistrate Fabayo Azore fined him $5000 along with six months community service after he pleaded guilty.

Rambajue told the court that around 6am on the day in question, narcotics ranks, acting on information received, went to Price’s home and carried out a search.

Rambajue said the search unearthed a Ziploc bag containing the suspected substance on the floor and in socks in the bedroom.

When told of the offence, the prosecutor continued, Price admitted he smoked the illegal substance and claimed ownership of it. He was subsequently charged.

The father of three, represented by attorney Melvyn Duke, pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

According to his attorney, Price was forced to acquiesce to protect his family, after the police took his wife.

Duke told the court that the police entered the defendant’s home “in an auspicious manner, through the window, without a warrant or ID.”

He added that his client shares the house with others, who were at home at the time of the raid. This, he said, raises the issue of possession, which is yet to be proven.

Taking this factor into account, the magistrate then fined Price $5,000 along with six months community service.

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