A 59-year-old British national, Curtis Collins, will be sentenced today (Friday) for trafficking in a controlled drug after pleading guilty to the charge Monday at the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court.
Collins, a delivery man by profession, was apprehended last week Wednesday at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) when he attempted to board British Airways flight #2158 to London.
Members of the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), who were at the time on duty profiling passengers that were preparing to board the flight reportedly discovered a quantity of cocaine inside his luggage.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the illegal substance weighed approximately 1.1 kilos and carries an estimated street value of $110, 000.00.
The British national, who had just concluded a visit with his ailing aunt on the sister isle of Carriacou, was slapped with two charges, possession and trafficking of a controlled drug.
Collins appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill, represented by experienced criminal Defense Attorney, Anselm Clouden.
The accused pleaded guilty to the trafficking charge but not guilty to the charge of possession, which was eventually dismissed by the court for want of prosecution.
According to the Police Prosecution team, led by Corporal of Police, Terrence Andall, when Collins was questioned by the arresting officers, he informed them that a man whom he identified only as ‘Dean’, gave him the package to deliver to an awaiting family member in England.
Cpl Andall told the court, that the drug accused claimed to not know ‘Dean’ personally but was only carrying the package for him as an act of kindness.
The Chief Magistrate was told that the illegal substance was found wrapped up in carbon paper, concealed inside the back of 3 wooden picture frames, which were sealed with clear plastic wrap and placed inside an orange plastic bag.
The cocaine was found in three separate quantities 12.6 ounces, 12.2 ounces and 11.98 ounces.
In Collins’ defense, attorney Clouden requested a non-custodial sentence by virtue of his client’s failing health conditions.
According to Clouden the accused is forced to walk with the aid of crutches and is chronically ill.
He also drew the court’s attention to the unavoidable and unnecessary additional costs to be incurred by the State, in the amount of “approximately $65 per day,” if Collins was given a custodial sentence at the Richmond Hill Prison.
The seasoned attorney also reminded the court that according to the authority of the ‘Good Year’ principle, Collins is entitled to a maximum discount for entering his guilty plea at the first opportunity.
“I invite the bench to consider whether it would be appropriate to fine him and give a reasonable time to pay,” attorney Clouden told the court, while indicating that his client has family members who are willing to assist in paying a fine.
“If time is given, I can assure you that he will pay,” the lawyer told the Chief Magistrate.
In response to the request, Her Honour Gill noted the seriousness of the offense and the fact that the nation’s airport was being used to facilitate drug trafficking.
She stated that if the court is minded to consider a fine it would be of a substantive amount.
After meeting with both the Police Prosecution and attorney Clouden, the Chief Magistrate reserved her decision in the matter for today (Friday) June 16.