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$1,000 Fine Or Six Months In Jail For Drug Possession

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A 39-year-old man was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine or face six months in prison for drug possession yesterday.

He was among several men who appeared in Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Andrew Forbes for drug-related offences. Many of those charged claimed they had bought the drugs for personal use.

Osborne Newbold was charged with two counts of possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to supply and one count of simple possession after he was found with Indian hemp, methamphetamine pills and assorted baked goods containing marijuana on May 12. He pleaded guilty to all of the charges and was given a $1,000 fine for all three counts or six months in prison, which the magistrate ordered to run concurrently.

Prosecutor Kenny Thompson said around 6.10pm that evening, officers, acting on information, went to the rear of Super Wash, Charles Saunders Highway where they observed a white Honda vehicle.

The officers beckoned for the car to stop and searched the driver and the vehicle in reference to dangerous drugs and firearms. Sgt Thompson said while the officers were conducting the search, Newbold told them he only had weed in the front door of the vehicle. Still, officers found 19 grams of suspected marijuana, 19 methamphetamine pills, 11 cookies, seven cupcakes and one brownie which all had a "strong aroma of marijuana" coming from them.

Meanwhile, Johnross Minns, 30, was charged after he was found with eight foil wrappings containing suspected marijuana in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera on May 12. He also pleaded guilty and was fined $300 or one month in prison.

During the hearing, he was represented by attorney Tamara Taylor-Storr who asked the magistrate not to impose a custodial sentence since her client had no previous convictions. She also noted that Minns was a father who was gainfully employed as a carpenter and said that having a drug charge on his record could make it difficult for him considering the current economic climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cordell Evans, 20, who also hails from Eleuthera, was charged after he was found with Indian Hemp on March 17. He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for six months. Still, Magistrate Forbes warned Evans if he failed to comply with the conditions of his probation, he would be sentenced to three months in prison.

During the hearing, Evans was also represented by attorney Taylor-Storr. She told the magistrate that Evans was remorseful for his actions and asked him to give the defendant a second chance to lead a productive life.

Ricardo Sweeting, 26, was charged after he was found with 20 grams of Indian hemp on May 13. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or two months in prison.

Prosecutor Kenny Thompson told the court around 6.40 that evening, officers on mobile patrol observed the defendant walking. Sgt Thompson said when Sweeting noticed the officers he pushed his hands in his pockets, pulled out a plastic bag and threw it to the ground before running away. The officers gave chase and arrested Sweeting. He was then taken to the Nassau Street Police Station where he denied the allegations in an interview with police.

During the hearing, Sweeting was represented by attorney Jomo Campbell. He asked the magistrate to consider his client's immediate guilty plea. He also noted that Sweeting and his family were embarrassed by his actions and insisted that the defendant understood the severity of the offence.

Kareem Lightbourne, 35, was charged after he was found with Indian hemp on May 12. The prosecution said around 9.01 that night, officers on static duty near the six-legged roundabout observed a group of males standing near the junction acting in a suspicious manner. They approached the men and informed them that they would be searched for dangerous drugs and firearms. It was at this time that the officers saw one of the suspects reach into his pocket and remove a plastic bag. The officers discovered 16 silver foil wraps each containing a quantity of suspected marijuana in the bag. When questioned, the defendant told the officers he had bought the drugs for $80 for personal use.

When given an opportunity to speak during the hearing, Lightbourne asked the magistrate for mercy and promised if he gave him another chance he would never see Lightbourne's face again.

He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or two months in prison.

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