Lawyers reject estimated value of ganja in weekend bust

Lawyers reject estimated value of ganja in weekend bust

Two lawyers representing three men arrested and charged in connection with a drug bust in the north of the country last weekend have stoutly rejected the $1.73 million estimated street value presented by the prosecution.
The three men, Mark Bristol, 48 years old Mason of McCarthy, Carton Allen, 40 years old Diver of Union Island and Marvin Alexander, 43 years old Sea Captain of Diamond/Union Island have been charged with possession of 292,376 grammes of cannabis with intent to supply to another on February 23rd, 2019; possession of 292,376 grammes of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking on February 23rd, 2019; and attempting to export 292,376 grammes of cannabis on February 23rd, 2019.

The three were arrested at Fancy point last Saturday.
When they appeared before the Serious Offences Court on Monday, they were not required to plea to the charges, the said charges being indictable. There was however indication that there was contemplation of changing the charges to summary proceedings.

The men were each granted composite bail of $140,000.00 with one surety each.
Lawyer Grant Connell, who is representing all three accused men, dismissed the prosecution’s $1.73 million estimated street value as “nonsense.” He contended that the street value of a controlled like ganja is estimated according to jurisdiction and that in St Vincent and the Grenadines going price is about $300.00 (EC) per pound.
Connell challenged the prosecution to tell the court which jurisdiction the drug was allegedly found and what was the cost of the drug according to the going rate of that jurisdiction.

Dr Linton Lewis, who is also representing one of the accused, Bristol, also dismissed the estimated street value saying he was “a bit concerned” about the value put forward by the prosecution. He said he agreed with Connell that the estimated street value of the drug is arrived at according to jurisdiction.

Dr Lewis said he was not aware that the alleged drug seizure was effected anywhere outside of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne gave assurance that “if” the matter comes to the sentencing phase, the issue raised by the lawyers would be addressed.