Three St. George’s residents facing drug related charges were on Monday finally granted bail in the sum of EC$75, 000 with 2 sureties each, when they made their second appearance at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Her Honour Tamara Gill.
The suspects – 30-year-old Woburn resident, Janiel Charles and Woodlands resident 28-year-old Aldon Samuel are jointly charged with the indictable offences of possession and trafficking of a controlled drug.
La Mode resident, Michael James, has been slapped with 2 indictable charges of conspiracy to import and traffic a controlled drug (134 pounds of marijuana), that was intercepted by the Grenada Coast Guard just outside the waters at Perseverance, St. George.
The illegal substance carries a street value of approximately EC$303, 912.
Last week Monday, Charles and Samuel, made their first appearance before the Chief Magistrate who denied their bail applications, which was made by Attorney-at-Law Derick Sylvester.
The two were both apprehended on March 15, during a marine drug operation in the Perseverance waters after the Grenada Coast Guard intercepted the vessel they were travelling in during the wee hours of the morning.
The police prosecution team was successful in its objection to bail being granted based on the seriousness of the crime and their prior convictions for offences of the same nature.
Lead Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor told the court that in 2003 Samuel was fined EC$ 75, 000 for possession of a controlled drug; while Charles has a previous conviction for a similar offence dating back to 2009, for which he was fined EC$45, 000.
ASP Victor placed on record his concern that the accused persons would abscond if granted bail since both men are fishermen, making the possibility very high for them to evade the law.
However, Attorney Sylvester, who informed the court that he was only retained for the purposes of making the bail application, said that his clients are not fishermen but Charles is a construction worker, while Samuel is employed at a Tyre Shop.
The attorney was adamant that his clients are not flight risks and argued that the Prosecution cannot say that the drugs were found in their possession.
“They (the accused persons) were never found with the illegal substance in their possession. It was found in the water,” Attorney Sylvester charged.
The lawyer also contended that a previous conviction of 9 years and 4 years ago, respectively, should not be grounds for denial of bail to suspects.
He directed the court to Section 9 of the Criminal Code, which speaks to a detainee’s right to bail and the conditions that can be applied.
However, after listening to arguments put forward by both sides, the Chief Magistrate took the decision to deny bail.
Meanwhile, James, who retained the services of Attorney-at-Law Francis Paul, made his first court appearance before the court last week Friday, where his bail application was also denied.
The Prosecution had objected to bail for James on the basis that he also has a previous conviction for a similar offence, dating back to 2011.
In making the bail application, Attorney Paul informed the court that his client is sick and that the new offences allegedly committed are bailable.
“He is definitely not a flight risk,” Attorney Paul told Chief Magistrate Gill.
After listening to the arguments put forward by both sides, the Chief Magistrate took the decision to refuse bail for James pointing out that bail had also been denied earlier for Charles and Samuel on the same grounds.
Attorney Sylvester was successful in his bail application for the men on Monday, which was granted with conditions attached.
The three suspects are to report to the Central Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
They are due to reappear in court on June 26.