Andy Acosta, a 35-year-old vendor of Campden Park, was fined $2,000 on Monday 5th Feb for stealing 18 pounds of medicinal marijuana, valued at EC$6,000, from a farm at Long Line, Rose Hall.
Acosta was allowed four months to pay the fine, with an alternative of one year in prison.
He was also allowed four months to pay EC$6,000 compensation to the owner of the farm, or go to prison for one year.
Senior Magistrate Colin John handed down the penalty after Acosta, who had initially pleaded not guilty at the Serious Offenses Court on January 2, changed his plea to guilty.
In presenting the facts, Prosecutor Corlene Samuel told the Court that around 3 a.m. on December 31, 2023, one of the workmen on the farm was awoken by the dogs barking, made checks, and saw three men on the farm. The intruders told the workmen, “We have guns, whey the weed dey?”
One of the workmen replied, “Is me and Brian does operate here, nothing inside here”.
The intruders left and went into the marijuana field.
Around 7:45 a.m. that day, the workmen went to the field and discovered several mature marijuana trees were freshly chopped out, and missing. They estimated the quantity as being 18 pounds, and informed the owner of the farm, who reported the matter to the police.
Police officers visited the scene, statements were recorded and investigations led to the arrest of Acosta.
Acosta was initially charged with stealing 20 pounds, but Prosecutor Samuel was granted an application on Monday to have the amount amended to 18 pounds.