Forty-four-year-old Troumaca resident Randolf Sutherland has until October 15 to pay $3,330, for possession of 2,512 grams of marijuana with intent to supply.
In default, he would go to prison for six months.
In handing down the penalty at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne outlined a number of mitigating factors that went to Sutherland’s credit, but said she did not find any factor that would make the offence that aggravating.
Browne noted that Sutherland had no previous convictions, cooperated with the police, showed remorse and had two dependent children, ages 8 and 13. She also noted that the substance Sutherland had in his possession was plant based, and not a manufactured powder.
She highlighted his guilty plea which was entered at the first available opportunity, earning him a one third reduction in sentence.
Sutherland was arrested at Trois Loups Bay on the North Leeward coast during a joint operation by the local Coast Guard and Rapid Response Unit (RRU), around 4:45 p.m. on April 14.
The facts revealed that Corporal Douglas Caesar, who was among the party of RRU officers, headed by Inspector Nolan Dalaway, spotted Sutherland on the beach. On noticing the police, he began to walk on the opposite side of a bag, knapsack and water boots. This aroused Caesar’s suspicion and he instructed the officers on the Coast Guard vessel to bring the vessel closer to shore.
Caesar told Sutherland of his observation, and inquired of him as to whom the knapsack belonged.
Sutherland said it was his, and Caesar requested a search to which the defendant consented.
Nothing illegal was found on his person or in the knapsack, but a brown taped package seen next to the knapsack was cut open revealing the marijuana.
When cautioned, Sutherland replied, “Officer, is my weed”.
Sutherland, along with the marijuana, were taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where the drug was weighed, and the charged was laid.
Sutherland, who was unrepresented, told the Court on Wednesday, that he was a farmer, but was not farming currently. He begged for leniency, stating that he had rent and medical expenses, and was the father of three children, ages – 8, 13 and 20.
When the Magistrate asked whether he played an important part in their lives, especially the two younger ones, he replied, “Every day.” (The Vincentian )