Brothers fined $13,000 for backyard weed
Two brothers who had marijuana growing in their backyards must pay $13,000 in fines.
The two were arrested over the weekend, following a police crackdown in the Clapham, St Michael district on Saturday.
Steve Adrian Brathwaite, of the same address, was first to enter the dock of the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty to possession, having a traffickable quantity of cannabis, intent to supply the drug and cultivating it.
Sergeant Martin Rock informed the court that police were carrying out a search in the Clapham area when they noticed Brathwaite uprooting plants from white buckets in his backyard. The officers knocked at the door and were met by Brathwaite who admitted to putting the plants beneath a chair.
He said lawmen found 14 plants weighing one pound, under a sofa.
Brathwaite later told police the drugs were his and he “now start to grow dem”.
Acting Chief Magistrate Douglas Frederick fined Brathwaite $3,000 payable in three months for cultivating the marijuana. Failure to pay will mean six months imprisonment. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the others charges.
Minutes later, the convicted man’s younger brother Dwayne pleaded guilty to similar offences, the only difference being he had 4.6 pounds of marijuana.
The prosecutor said that Dwayne dashed toward the back of his house when he saw the police. When they pursued, they came upon a number of marijuana plants and a strong scent of the drug.
When police knocked at the residence, which is beside his brother’s, he opened the door and confessed to the officers that he had more inside the house. There were 78 plants altogether.
He subsequently told police “things tight”.
Attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at asked the court to allow the brothers sufficient time to pay the fines.
Dwayne, who had seven prior convictions, was fined $10,000 for trafficking the marijuana and was given eight months to pay the fine or spend a year in jail. He too was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on his other charges.