By Latrishka Thomas
A man charged in a major drug bust at the Deep Water Harbour in 2020 told the court yesterday that the drugs were sent to him in a barrel by his nephew, but he was not informed until “it was already on its way.”
In July 2020, Patrick Burrell, who was 49-years-old at the time, and Everton Fitzroy Pinnock who was 55 years-old, were jointly charged with possession of 59.75 pounds of cannabis, drug trafficking and importation of cannabis.
The controlled substance was found in vacuumed sealed packages concealed in television boxes which were in a container with Burrell’s name.
The charges were later dropped against Burrell due to a lack of evidence.
But Pinnock’s matter made it all the way to the High Court where he stood trial this week before Justice Stanley John.
After hearing all of the testimonies, Pinnock’s lawyer, Wendel Robinson, made a no case submission relying upon the fact that Pinnock did not have the drugs physically in his possession.
He argued that if there is no possession then the importation charge is not substantiated.
The prosecution rebutted saying that the mere fact that Pinnock admitted that his nephew sent him the drugs for himself means that he was in control of the packages and imported them because they arrived here in Antigua, reportedly from his relative.
He also shot down Robinson’s claim that possession and importation go hand in hand saying “where does it say that possession is an ingredient of importation.”
The “No case” submission was overruled, and then the Jamaican national decided to give unsworn evidence (he could not be questioned by either side) where he revealed that he was employed by Burrell to construct a shop and lived with him.
At some point he introduced Burrell to his sister who lives in the United States and she began sending items to him.
On one of the occasions, Pinnock says his nephew called him and told him he sent some weed in a barrel while it was in transit.
His police statement also indicated that he spoke to his nephew in an earlier conversation and told him that he knew someone from whom he sourced weed.
Robinson’s main argument in closing was that Pinnock did not arrange for the drugs to be sent, but was told about the dispatch after the fact.
The prosecution however concluded that the very fact that Pinnock admitted that the drugs belonged to him and were sent to him is enough to convict.
The Judge will issue a date for the delivery of the verdict within the next two weeks.