Two Tobago nationals who admitted to the police that they had been on a drug exchange mission in Tobago waters but accidentally ended up in Grenada and walked into the Coast Guard base in search of help were asked to pay an immediate fine before leaving Grenada.
The two,Jabbori Joefield, 20 and Ricardo Mohammed, 23 both from the village of Lambeau in Tobago pleaded guilty before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St George’s Magistrate Court on Tuesday to the charge of Doing an act Preparatory to Trafficking a Controlled Drug.” The men were both represented in court by defence counsel Peter David.
According to information coming from the court, the men were seen on the compound of the Coast Guard base seeking help to get gas to for their boat to head back to Tobago.
According to the police, when confronted, the men told the police that they were fishermen, but ran into problems at sea because they were unable to read their navigation equipment and therefore accidentally reached Grenada.
The report went on to say, members of the Drug Squad were subsequently called in to look into the matter and the men later revealed to the police that their real mission was to carry out a drug transaction on someone’s behalf; someone thirty miles off the course of Tobago but lost their bearing and landed in Grenada.
The police report also noted that while the men claimed that they were working the boat for someone in Tobago, contact was made with that individual who claims that his boat was stolen and had no idea who the men were. Both men were subsequently arrested and charged.
At the court on Tuesday Defense Counsel Peter David sought leniency from the court on behalf of his clients asking the court to accept as a fact the men are really not seasoned criminals seeing a coast guard base and walking in, in search of help knowing what they were involved in.
He further pleaded with the court not to impose a custodial sentence since the men have already learned their lesson from the ordeal, having had a taste of Grenada’s prison, and being told that they are on their own by the owner of the boat who distanced himself from any involvement with the operation.
Magistrate Gill in handing down sentence said the court took into consideration the fact that the men did not waste the court’s time having pleaded guilty at first opportunity, but reminded them that they should use the experience as a lesson.
Both men were fined EC$ 2, 500.00 each to be paid immediately or spend eighteen months behind bars, on a charge that could have had them imprisoned for five years.