Law enforcement officers have arrested and slapped two drug-related charges on a Gouyave, St. John resident, while another two remain at large in connection to the discovery of 178 pounds of marijuana, which carry an estimated street value of $402,992.
Facing charges of Importing and Trafficking of a controlled drug is 33-year-old shop owner, Jonathan Richards who appeared before the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday represented by defense attorney Peter David.
The lawyer made an application before Chief Magistrate, Her Honor Tamara Gill for bail but it was met with strong opposition from the Police Prosecution team.
The police felt that the suspect should not be placed on bail since he has a record of 19 prior convictions, including 2 of a similar nature.
In addition, the court was informed by the lawmen that Richards was released from the Richmond Hill prison in March after serving a sentence for an unrelated offence.
The Police told the Chief Magistrate that the accused should be kept in custody since he has the propensity to commit similar offences.
Attorney David argued that his client’s prior convictions should not determine whether or not bail should be granted to him.
He pointed out that in objecting to bail, the Prosecution did not express any fear of his client absconding and not showing up for his day in court.
The attorney reminded the court that the purpose of bail is to ensure that an accused person appears in court for matters against him and that such a person by law is rightfully considered to be innocent until proven guilty.
After considering the submissions, the Chief Magistrate took a decision to deny bail to Richards.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the 33-year-old was apprehended by police during the course of last week Wednesday night into Thursday morning in an operation involving the Grenada Coast Guard.
A source said that Richards was spotted along with two others in a boat that the Coast Guard had tried to intercept in the waters around Waltham, St. Mark’s.
It is alleged that Richards and the others jumped off the boat and fled the area but left the illegal substance on it.
A police investigator told the court that they have identified one of the men who managed to evade them as Marlon George, a fisherman who was described as the captain of the boat.
The ongoing investigation has so far been unable to identify the other individual who is still at large.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the suspects were returning to the island from neighbouring St. Vincent, where they allegedly collected the ganja.
The case has been adjourned to September 29 at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court.