Farmer gets 20 months for cannabis

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After spending 20 months on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison, Malcolm Roacher, a farmer, was freed on a charge related to more than 2,400 marijuana plants uprooted by law enforcement officers in 2015 from a field he worked.
The court decision, handed down by Justice Keith Thom yesterday of time served for the Class “B” controlled substance, set the accused free from the almost two year old charge.
The illegal substance was discovered being cultivated on several plots of land during a raid in the Potworks Dam area, where the accused worked.
Police reports indicate that on June, 24, 2015 at about 10 am, lawmen from the Narcotics Department of the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda and other officers went to the Pot Works area in search of cannabis cultivation.
On arrival, they met a large quantity of plants resembling the controlled drug cannabis and 51-year-old Roacher was observed watering the mature trees, while Mario Semper of Bathlodge was found on the farm.
The officers found sleeping quarters, clothing and other personal items, suggesting the men were living on the compound.
During the search, a .38 revolver and five rounds of matching ammunition were discovered.
The men were taken into custody and charged with possession of gun and ammunition, possession, with intent to sell, cultivation and drug trafficking. However, during their arraignment in the High Court, the gun and ammunition charges were withdrawn and the prosecution proceeded only with the drug charges.
Roacher pleaded guilty to cultivating the illegal substance that carried an estimated street value of $52,000.
Semper’s trial is set for March 24, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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