By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was fined $500 after he pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in the Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Gerald Etienne, 36, was charged with simple possession after officers found four grammes of Indian Hemp in his trouser pocket when they searched him on October 1.
The court heard officers were performing static duty around 9.19am on the day in question, when they observed Etienne driving a gold Nissan vehicle on the road. The prosecution said the defendant appeared to look in the direction of the police before acting in a suspicious manner. As a result, they beckoned for the vehicle to stop and informed Etienne that he would be searched in reference to dangerous drugs and firearms. While the officers did not find any contraband in the defendant’s car, they discovered $20 worth of marijuana in a clear ziploc baggy that Etiene had in the right pocket of his trousers. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the Drug Enforcement Unit, where he admitted to the offence in an interview with police.
During the hearing, Etienne told the magistrate he “turned to smoking” after he lost custody of his children. He claimed marijuana helped to ease his anxiety and depression, but insisted he was remorseful for his actions.
In response, Magistrate Rolle-Davis told the accused smoking marijuana would not change the fact that his children did not live with him. He also told Etienne it would be more wise to invest in more “productive” activities that could improve his and his children’s conditions, rather than waste money on drugs.
As a result, Etienne was subsequently fined $500 or one month in prison.
In a separate incident, Rodney Macon, 34, appeared before Magistrate Rolle-Davis after he was accused of of being in possession of two and a quarter ounces of Indian Hemp on October 1. The prosecution alleged the defendant had planned to sell the drugs for profit.
During his arraignment on Friday, Macon denied the allegation and his case was adjourned to November 26 for trial.
Due to the nature of the charge, he was denied bail and remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Macon has a right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.