A taxi driver who was nabbed by police on July 11, 2017 at a police road block in front of the Fort Wellington Police Station, has been jailed for four years and fined a total of $10.385M.
Andre Benjamin, 40, a taxi driver, of Lot 186 East Ville, Annandale, East Coast Demerara, was handed the sentence and hefty fine by Magistrate Rhondel Weaver in the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court.
He was tried on a charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.
But Benjamin whilst out on bail was nabbed on November 7, at Friendship, East Bank Demerara, with 8.05KG or 17.7 pounds of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.
He was remanded on that charge.
Prosecutor Corporal Rochelle Mars told the court that around 23:05 hrs on July 11, 2017, police were conducting a stop and search exercise outside the Fort Wellington Police Station.
Motor car PTT 7473 which was heading towards Georgetown was stopped. The car was being driven by Benjamin who was the lone occupant.
The vehicle was searched and the police unearthed four transparent parcels with what is suspected to be leaves, seeds and stems of the marijuana plant in the truck of the car.
One parcel was in a suitcase which had his personal belongings while the other three were in two rice bags.
The accused, the vehicle and items were taken into custody where the items were tested and found to be 7.25 kilograms grams of marijuana. He was arrested and charged.
The man told the court that he had no knowledge of what was in the parcels. He said he was coming from a funeral and was given the parcels by someone to take to town.
However, the prosecutor noted that the accused had to have knowledge of the contents of the parcels since they all had openings and one was in his suitcase with his personal belongings.
He was subsequently found guilty.
The man’s lawyer in mitigation told the court that the accused was apologetic and that he has to care for a 16 year old child in Trinidad. He also told the court that the accused assists in a family business.
Benjamin was subsequently sentenced to four years in jail and given the hefty fine.
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