Farmer found guilty of cultivating marijuana

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A 12-member jury convicted Bathlodge farmer Mario Semper yesterday in the High Court for cultivating over 2,400 marijuana plants in the Potworks Dam area back in 2015.
Semper, who had been out on bail, was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison until June 9, 2017 where he scheduled to reappear before Justice Keith Thom for sentencing.
The illegal substance was discovered being cultivated on several plots of land during a raid at Potworks Dam, 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 area to conduct an anti-drug operation.
On arrival, they met a large quantity of plants resembling the controlled drug cannabis and another farmer, Malcolm Roacher was observed watering the mature trees, while Semper was also found on the farm.
The officers found sleeping quarters, clothing and other personal items, which suggested that the men were living at the compound.
The 2,448 plants that carry an estimated street value of $52,000 were uprooted and the men were taken into custody, and charged with several offences to include drug trafficking and possession with intent to sell the Class “B” controlled substance.
Having been remanded and unable to secure bail, Roacher pleaded guilty on February 16 to possession of the illegal substance and was essentially freed as Justice Thom imposed a 20-month prison term. However, this would have been the same amount of time Roacher had spent on remand awaiting trial and the prison sentence was considered as time served.

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