Drug trial involving married couple to begin today

court matters
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By Latrishka Thomas

For perhaps the first time this year, a trial will be conducted before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in St John’s Magistrates’ Court on a Saturday.

The proceedings involve a husband and wife charged with the possession and cultivation of cannabis worth over $2,000.

Thirty-seven-year-old Lois Santana and 36-year-old Robert Santana, both of Hatton, appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in late October for their trial but the matter was adjourned due to the absence of their lawyer, Lawrence Daniels.

The Chief Magistrate told the couple that if their lawyer does not show up on the next occasion (today, November 7), they will have to defend themselves.

In August 2020, the couple pleaded not guilty to the charge of possession of 130 grams of cannabis and 76 cannabis plants, and cultivation of said plants with a total value of $2,280.

Their lawyer made an application for their temporary release while they awaited trial and his request was accepted.

Bail was set at $2,000 each with a cash component of $500.

Lois Santana, who is a teacher, and Robert Santana, a plumber, also had to surrender their passports and report to Gray’s Farm Police Station several days a week.

According to the facts shared in court, on August 16, based on information received in a larceny investigation, officers went to the couple’s residence.

During the search the police allegedly noticed a bushy substance on the table, which resembled cannabis and later found 76 plants in the yard.

They both reportedly told the police that the plants belonged to Lois and were being used for a school project.

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