Described as a repeated drug offender by police, Mt. Parnassus resident Richard Steele, who was apprehended last week Friday for possession of drugs has been put on $60, 000.00 bail by Chief Magistrate, Tamara Gill.
The 43-year old Steele appeared at the St. George’s no.1 Magistrate’s Court on Monday on two (2) counts of possession and trafficking of a controlled drug.
The accused has retained Attorney-at-Law Francis Paul to represent him in the case.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Steele’s arrest came after a police operation at his home turned up a quantity of illegal drugs – 22 lbs of ganja and 13 ounces of cannabis carrying an estimated street value of $52, 000.
The police also recovered 12 grams of cannabis at his shop valued at $40.
In requesting bail for his client, Attorney Paul told the court that Steele, who is a steel-bender by profession, has recently struck a sub-contract with Creative Designs & Building Construction Co. Ltd., which already has work in progress on the Silver Sands hotel site in Grand Anse.
The lawyer indicated that his client is prepared to adhere to any condition set by the court for bail.
However, the Police Prosecution team, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor, strongly objected to bail on the grounds that the accused has three (3) previous convictions of the same nature, dating back to 2001, 2008 and 2011.
ASP Victor contended that the suspect also has a number of matters pending in other local jurisdictions including Victoria and Carriacou that are yet to be completed.
However, the defense lawyer challenged the Prosecution on the issue, saying that his client has no other matters pending in local courts since the charges against Steele in Carriacou were dismissed.
“He is not a flight risk…he is gainfully employed and he is not going anywhere,” said Paul.
After listening to the arguments put forward by both sides, the Chief Magistrate took the decision to grant the accused bail with 2 sureties.
Steele was also ordered to surrender all his travel documents to the court, request permission from the court to leave the jurisdiction, report to Central Police station on the Carenage every Monday and Friday between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
The accused is due to reappear before the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate Court on May 20.