By FARRAH JOHNSON
A 21-year-old man has been ordered to attend drug counselling classes for six months after he pleaded guilty to drug possession in Magistrate’s Court.
Phillip Cleare appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis this week after officers found two ounces of Indian hemp at his residence on June 5. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to attend the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) outpatient programme. If he fails to complete the drug counselling classes, he will spend six months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Prosecutor Kenny Thompson told the court around 4pm on the day in question, officers went to Cleare’s residence in Yellow Elder armed with a search warrant. When they arrived, they saw Cleare standing outside. The defendant was then shown the warrant and informed that the officers would be searching his home in reference to dangerous drugs and firearms. When they went inside the home, Claire told the officers that there was an ounce of marijuana in his room. He then pointed out a mattress which the officers looked under and discovered a clear plastic wrap that contained a quantity of suspected marijuana. Sgt Thompson said at the time, Claire told the officers that he “wouldn’t even waste their time,” since he knew that the drugs belonged to him.
He was subsequently arrested. During an interview at a nearby station, he told officers that he bought the marijuana for $80 and it was for his personal use. Still, the prosecution said the marijuana weighed two ounces and had an estimated street value of $200.
During the hearing, Cleare was represented by attorney Roberto Reckley. He told the magistrate that his client had cooperated from the earliest stage of the investigation. He also noted that Cleare had been a “person of good character up to this point.” When given an opportunity to speak, Cleare also told the magistrate that he had a smoking problem. He added that he smoked because he got “stressed out” from time to time and insisted that he “honestly needed help” and believed counselling could help him curve his bad habit.