An inmate currently serving a sentence at the Richmond Hill Prison has found himself in additional trouble with the law after a search of the cell, which he occupies along with two other individuals, turned up a small quantity of marijuana.
Jermaine Bernard is facing summary charges of Trafficking of a controlled drug and Intent to supply a controlled drug.
THE NEW TODAY understands that forty (40) individually wrapped portions of marijuana were found hidden inside a blanket on the bed to which he is assigned during a cell search conducted on October 17.
While THE NEW TODAY has been unable to ascertain for which crime Bernard is currently serving time, he appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the No. 1 Magistrate’s Court on December 20 and then again on December 28, for the inquiry into the new charges brought against him.
The Police Prosecution has called three witnesses in the matter including a senior prison officer and his junior, along with the police arresting officer to give evidence against the accused.
It is the prosecution’s case that Bernard had verbally taken responsibility for the illegal substance.
However, Bernard denied the claim and also used the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses, with guidance from Chief Magistrate Gill.
The matter has been adjourned to January 30 for its next hearing.
Over the years, prison officers were often suspected of helping to bring illegal drugs into the facility for prisoners.
In September 2016, long standing prison officer, Daniel Charles was slapped with three drug-related charges after being caught trying to carry just over two pounds of marijuana onto the prison compound.
The Upper Depradine, Gouyave, St. John resident is currently on $8, 000 bail with 1 surety.
In another incident in January 2014, a search of a locker at the prison belonging to a former prison officer, Ryan Morris, turned up ¼ lb of marijuana, while another search conducted at his home at La Sagesse, St. David’s yielded another ¼ lb of the illegal substance.
Morris was arrested and charged with 2 counts of Possession of a controlled drug and 2 counts of trafficking a controlled drug and placed on $30, 000 bail.