Sep 20, 2017 News
Oliver Bazilio, the son of boxing promoter Keith Bazilio, has been jailed for three years for 10 grams of marijuana that was found in his pants pocket by Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) ranks, who swooped down on his home earlier this year.
Another man, Shemroy Robertson, who was at the home that day, was freed on a charge which alleged that he trafficked 440 grams of marijuana.
Bazilio, 35, of Lot 261 Blue Sackie Drive, South Ruimveldt Georgetown and Robertson, 32, of Lot 101 Mandela Avenue, Georgetown were indicted on separate charges.
According to reports, on March 6, CANU ranks acting on information went to a house located at Lot 261 Blue Sackie Drive, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. On their arrival, they met Bazilio, Robertson and two other men. CANU ranks conducted a search on Bazilio and found 10 grams of marijuana in his pocket; while Robertson was allegedly caught dropping a black bag containing 440 grammes of marijuana.
During the summing up of the evidence, Magistrate Latchman said that she disbelieved the story told by Bazilio, who elected to give a sworn testimony.
During his testimony, Bazilio denied being in possession of the narcotics and declined to call witnesses.
According to Magistrate Latchman, based on the evidence led by CANU Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford, she was satisfied that 10 grams of marijuana were found in Bazilio’s pocket.
Magistrate Latchman said Bazilio “must have” had knowledge of the drug since it was found in his pants pocket which is regarded as a personal space.
Earlier on in the trial, CANU Officer Mario Mickle told the court that he instructed Bazilio to empty his pocket from which marijuana was unearthed. Mickle testified, “I asked him (Oliver Bazilio) to empty his pants pocket. In his possession he had some Guyanese currency, one cell phone, a yellow plastic bag containing leaves, seeds and stems which I suspected to be cannabis.”
When asked if he had anything to say, Bazilio a car wash operator, begged for leniency.
Having considered all the mitigating factors in favour of Bazilio; the prevalence of drug trafficking; the manner in which the narcotics were concealed and the need to deter others from committing the offence, Magistrate Latchman imposed the custodial sentence and $30,000 fine.
In the case of Robertson, Magistrate Latchman said that the court was uncertain as to whether he had the bag in his possession although Prosecutor Sandiford presented surveillance footage from the home.
During his testimony, Robertson who elected to give an unsworn testimony told the court that on the day in question he visited the house because he heard that his friend, Keith Bazilio, was sick.
He recalled that about five minutes into the visit, he heard someone shouting “CANU! CANU open.”
Further, Magistrate Latchman added that Robertson had enough time to dispose of the bag since it took a while for CANU ranks to enter the house.
Magistrate Latchman found Robertson not guilty of the offence and informed him that he was free to go.
In his testimony, Robertson also told the court that CANU Officer Andrew Yarde was the first person to enter the home and ordered him to lie on the ground and place his hands on his back.
“A few minutes after the other ranks came in and went downstairs. Mr. Yarde took me outside to a vehicle. Mr. Yarde never saw me with a bag. I never saw a bag. Mr. Yarde is blatantly lying to this court. And Mr. Yarde is the main witness in a next case for me.
“That’s the reason Mr. Yarde tried to set me up.” According to Robertson, after searching the premises the ranks escorted him to CANU Headquarters where he was read two charges that he had no knowledge about.
Earlier this month, Bazilio, his father, Robertson and Clinton Chase were freed on a charge which alleged that on March 6, they had 734 grams of marijuana in their possession for the purpose of trafficking.
This charge was as a result of a quantity of bulk marijuana that was allegedly found in a wardrobe in another part of the house.
However, Magistrate Latchman dismissed the matter citing insufficient evidence.
Last year May, Robertson was committed to stand trial at the High Court in Georgetown for being in possession of one kilogram, 156 grams of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
According to facts, CANU ranks were on operation on January 15, 2016, at Princes Street, Georgetown, when they stopped a motorcar driven by Robertson.
Robertson later drove off and CANU officer, Andrew Yarde, drove up beside him on Bent Street, Werk-en-Rust. Yarde told Robertson to pull over, but he did not comply and a bag containing cocaine was soon after, thrown out from the vehicle.
While evading the police, Robertson became involved in an accident and was later found hiding in a house at Mandela Avenue.
Robertson was granted $600,000 bail and is still awaiting trial.
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