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Tradesman remanded for gun, fined for drugs

A tradesman from St Michael accused of having an illegal firearm was today remanded to HMP Dodds.

David Lavere Highland of Hill Road, Bank Hall, appeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant on the gun charge and several other offences, including drug possession and assault.

The 42-year-old was not required to plead to the firearm charge. However, he admitted to possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and cultivation of 2.29 kilogrammes of cannabis.

According to the facts presented in the No. 2 Criminal Court by police prosecutor Sergeant Neville Reid, the illicit items were found when police executed a search warrant at Highland’s residence.

He reportedly handed over a canister that he picked up from a chair, which contained six plastic bags. A further check also led to the discovery of three transparent plastic bags containing seeds suspected to be cannabis, in Highland’s bedroom.

The search then extended to the backyard where a small garden bed surrounded with planks of wood was found with 28 cannabis hatchlings up to six inches in height.

In another section of the yard, lawmen found 29 plants between two and four feet in height.

According to Sergeant Reid, the combined estimated street value of the drugs was $10, 145.

Asked whether he had anything to say, Highland admitted to the magistrate that the drugs were his and that he was using it to “ease my back pain”.

“I have three slipped discs in my back. . . . I also smoke marijuana . . . and I also know it’s a mistake,” he told the magistrate.

On the charges of cultivation, possession, and possession with intent to supply, Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant reprimanded and discharged Highland.

However, she imposed a $20, 000 fine for the trafficking offence, which Highland must pay in seven months or he will face two years’ imprisonment.

Highland was also charged with damage of a pipe costing $24, belonging to Alrick Crichlow and assaulting Crichlow, on November 7.

He pleaded guilty to the damage but denied assaulting the man.

The court heard that Crichlow was inside his chicken pen when he heard a loud banging on the top of the structure and then heard a chopping sound.

The complainant investigated the source of the noise and saw Highland who later left the area. Further investigation by Crichlow revealed that the pipe was broken.

Highland was ordered by the court to compensate Crichlow the cost of the pipe and to pay a fine of $500 in one month or spend two months behind bars.

The Magistrate then remanded Highland to prison for the firearm charge, for him to reappear before the No.1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on December 12. His not guilty plea on the assault charge will also come up then.

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