Duo gets massive fine for cannabis possession

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Two men pleaded guilty in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court to charges relating to the possession of large amounts of an illegal substance.

Earlier yesterday, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh heard the cases of 20-year-old Shamar Lewis and 24-year-old Eldon Farquharson who were both convicted for possession of cannabis in their separate trials.

Lewis, of Golden Grove, claimed that when he was approached by the police while in the passenger seat of a black motor vehicle on May 10th, 2019, he was delivering the substance – contained in two shopping bags – to a stranger who fled the scene upon catching sight of the police.

Lewis was charged with possession and intent to transfer 4 ¼ pounds of cannabis with a street value of $17,000. Upon being found guilty he was fined $51,000 and was required to pay $5,000 by 3pm yesterday.

Farquharson, of Lower Ottos, was charged with intent to supply 10 ½ pounds of Cannabis which he claimed to have found while hiking.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against the two other defendants, Shernett Smith and Kaviena Bunting, who were initially part of the case but had pleaded not guilty.

On the night of the 10th May, officers found the stash of drugs in Farquharson’s backyard after they searched his home on a warrant. The cannabis carried a street value of $42,000.

He was fined $126,000 – three times the weed’s assessed value – for supplying the drugs. Chief Magistrate Walsh said she will allow him to pay in installments, but ordered him to settle the full amount by the end of the year.

If either of the convicts fails to pay the fines, he will be imprisoned for two years.

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