By Farrah Johnson
TWO men, charged with marijuana possession, were conditionally discharged after they agreed to attend drug counselling classes.
Ashmeade Thompson, 33, was charged with simple possession after officers seized $115 worth of Indian Hemp from him on September 10.
He pleaded guilty during a hearing before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes on Friday.
The court was told that officers on patrol near Step Street around 1.50pm that day proceeded to a convenience store in the vicinity. When they entered the store, they saw the accused, who on noticing the officers, ran off with a black plastic bag in his right hand. The prosecution said an officer gave chase and eventually caught up with Thompson and informed him that he would be searched in connection with dangerous drugs and firearms. When they searched the plastic bag, the officers discovered 26 silver foil wraps, each containing a quantity of what they suspected to be marijuana. They also seized more than $2,000 from the accused as the proceeds of crime. Thompson was taken to the Fox Hill Station then transported to the Drug Enforcement Unit, where he declined to comment in an interview with police.
During the arraignment, Thompson was represented by attorney Ian Cargill. He told the magistrate his client’s family owned the convenience store in which they saw him that day and explained that Thompson ran the store with his mother. Mr Cargill claimed his client found the drugs in the store and had planned to keep them to smoke because he used recreational marijuana. He insisted the defendant was remorseful for his actions.
After listening to Mr Cargill’s plea in mitigation, Magistrate Forbes granted Thompson a conditional discharge for 12 months, on the agreement he would attend drug counselling classes. Still, he warned him if he failed to do so, he would spend three months behind bars. He also said a separate hearing will be held on December 7 to determine what would happen to the funds officers seized from Thompson on the day of his arrest.
In a separate incident, Antonio Thompson, 20, appeared before Magistrate Forbes charged with dangerous drug possession after officers seized $180 worth of Indian Hemp from him on September 9.
He also pleaded guilty and was discharged on condition he would attend drug counselling for one year. If he fails to comply with the conditions of his release, he could risk spending three months in custody.
The court was told that officers on mobile patrol near Mason’s Alley saw Thompson sitting under a self-made tent. The prosecution said Thompson appeared to look in the direction of the officers before acting in a suspicious manner. As a result, they approached Thompson and told him he would be searched. During their investigation, the officers noticed a bulge in the front of the defendant’s pants and discovered 26 silver foil wraps, each containing what was suspected to be marijuana in his underwear. Thompson was subsequently arrested and taken to a nearby station. In an interview with police there, he admitted to the offence and said he had the drugs for his personal use.