54-year-old Marquis fisherman, Victor Charles was sentenced Wednesday to one year behind bars after pleading guilty to three drug related charges at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court.
Charles along with Jamal Ross, a thirty-three year old from Moliniere, St. George, were both arrested and charged in the first drug bust for 2017 by members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
The suspects were caught in a joint operation carried out by the Drug Squad and the Coast Guard, which resulted in the discovery of 80-pounds of marijuana on a white speed boat that they were travelling in along the Marquis Bay in St. Andrew during the early morning hours on Sunday.
Charles, who has been identified as the captain of the fishing boat has been charged with possession, trafficking and importing of a controlled drug, which carries a street value of $181, 440, while Ross is charged with conspiracy to traffic and import a controlled drug.
The two men appeared before female Magistrate Nevlyn John at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court where Charles, who was not legally represented, pleaded guilty on all three counts laid against him.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the father of seven is a frequent traveler to neighbouring St. Vincent, where he recently served a four-year sentence for a similar offence.
It was disclosed that Charles, who returned to Grenada in March has one previous drug conviction for which he was fined an undisclosed sum of monies.
The convicted man has another drug matter pending in the court system surrounding the possession of approximately 300 pound of marijuana.
Charles admitted to committing the new offences brought against him and asked the court to proceed with sentencing in the matter without a lawyer.
Before giving the ruling, Magistrate John reminded the accused of his right to a lawyer in the matter and asked if he would like to say anything to the court, which he declined.
The accused received a one-year sentence on each of the three counts to run concurrently and was also fined $35, 000 to be paid in eight months following his release from prison and in default to serve an additional two year jail term.
Ross who has been identified as the owner of the boat that was seized by police, entered a plea of not guilty on the two charges of conspiracy brought against him.
He informed the court that he retained the services of attorney-at-law, Peter David in the matter.
David was not present at Wednesday’s court proceedings, which revealed that his client had jumped off the boat and swam ashore when it became apparent that the police were onto them.
The wanted man subsequently turned himself in and was on Tuesday granted bail in the sum of $20, 000 with two sureties.
Wednesday’s proceedings saw additional bail conditions being imposed by Magistrate John on Ross in which he was ordered to surrender all travel documents to the court, to seek permission from the court to travel out of the jurisdiction and to report to the Central Police Station on the Carenage once a week.
His next court date was set for February 24 at the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court.