Convicted cocaine traffickers get four years in jail, $6M fine

-vehicle forfeited to state

Mohamed Kadir and Mark Gomes

A four-year sentence was today handed down to Mark Gomes and Mohamed Kadir after Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan found them both guilty of trafficking over five pounds of cocaine.

Gomes, 33, of Campbellville, and Kadir, 37, of Goed Fortuin, were also fined $6 million at the conclusion of their trial on the charge that they trafficked 2.50 kilogrammes, equivalent to 5.5 pounds of cocaine, on March 29th, 2018, at Sheriff Street, Georgetown.

Based on an application by Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford, the magistrate also ordered that Gomes’ vehicle be forfeited to the state.

It was the prosecutor’s case that on the day in question, CANU observed two motor vehicles, one driven by Gomes and the other by Kadir. Kadir left his vehicle with a yellow Shell gas bottle, which he took to PMM 5807, where Gomes was seated in the driver’s side. A third man, Brian Fowler, who was sentenced after pleading guilty to the trafficking charge, was observed as a passenger in Gomes’ vehicle when CANU ranks confronted them. The cocaine was subsequently discovered.

In delivering her ruling yesterday, Chief Magistrate McLennan told the two men that she believed the evidence led by the prosecutor’s main witness. It was also noted that the defendants had knowledge and possession of the cocaine as the gas bottle, which was burst at the bottom, was passed from Kadir to Gomes.

The Chief Magistrate noted that the accounts of the two accused, after they were called upon to lead their defence last week, were fanciful and could not be believed. Both men said Fowler had claimed sole ownership of the drug.

The court noted that the men also failed to tell their version to the main witnesses. According to the Chief Magistrate, confrontations were held and the two men did not put their stories to the officers.

Upon these grounds, the men were found guilty of the crime.

In mitigation before sentencing, attorney Glenn Hanoman, who represented Kadir, told the court that the amount of drugs found was relatively small and that the role his client was alleged to have played was a minor one.

Attorney Keoma Griffith, who represented Gomes in association with Mark Waldron, told the court that Gomes was the family’s sole breadwinner and had no previous convictions.

Prior to their sentencing, Sandiford made an application for the vehicles owned by the two men to be seized by the state on the grounds that they were used for the offence.

Objections were raised by both Hanoman and Griffith on behalf of the defendants.

The Chief Magistrate subsequently sentenced each man to four years in jail and imposed the $6,075,000 fine. Chief Magistrate McLennan then ordered that PMM 5807, belonging to Gomes, be forfeited to the state.

Fowler was also sentenced to four years in jail and fined $6 million after his earlier plea.

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