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Man Fined $7,000 For Dealing In Marijuana

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A man was ordered to pay $7,000 or face two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to drug possession in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Marvin Clarke, 33, appeared before Magistrate Andrew Forbes charged with possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to supply.

Prosecutor Sergeant Lincoln McKenzie told the court that last Friday around 3.40pm, officers in the area of Kemp Road went to J’s Convenience Store and approached the defendant after suspecting him of being in possession of drugs. While searching Clarke, police found a clear package with two pounds and eight ounces of marijuana inside. During the arraignment, Sgt McKenzie also noted Clarke had previously appeared before the court for similar charges in 2016 and 2019.

In pleading his case, Clarke’s attorney, Keevon Maynard told the judge his client had an “infant child” with his girlfriend who was stuck in Canada. He also said Clarke had a drug problem, although he insisted the defendant understood the “seriousness of the issue”.

Mr Maynard added Clarke suffered from chronic stress and insomnia and maintained the drugs were in his client’s possession for personal use and not for sale. He also noted the country was possibly moving towards a time where marijuana may be legalised and asked Magistrate Forbes not to burden the public’s purse by imposing a sentence that would cause Clarke to lose his job as an employee at J’s Convenience Store.

Noting that Clarke was extremely remorseful for his actions, Mr Maynard also said the defendant was the primary breadwinner of his family because his girlfriend was currently pregnant and unemployed. He added his client was willing to pay a fine or do community service for his offence.

Still, Magistrate Forbes noted Clarke had served 18 months after being convicted for the same offence three years ago. He also said that it seemed as if 18 months behind bars did not motivate Clarke to avoid committing the same crime again.

He fined Clarke $7,000 and ordered the defendant to pay it that same day.

Theodore Brown, 22, was also fined $350 or two months at the BCDS after he pleaded guilty to drug possession.

Sgt McKenzie said police also found 20 grams of marijuana on Brown last Friday. The defendant, who was also in the area of J’s Convenience Store, was approached by officers around 3.40pm that afternoon, after he was suspected of being in possession of drugs. Sgt McKenzie said while searching Brown, officers found 20 grams of marijuana in his possession.

Brown was also represented by Mr Maynard.

He told Magistrate Forbes his client was remorseful and didn’t want to waste the court’s time.

Adding Brown had an unstable living situation, Mr Maynard also begged the court not to impose a custodial sentence.

In response, Magistrate Forbes said despite the legalisation of marijuana being a popular topic, the drug has not been legalised in the country yet, which meant that those found with it in their possession were subject to a fine or time behind bars. Magistrate Forbes subsequently warned Brown and invited him to consider that fact in the future.

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