$40,000 fine for smuggling ganja Prison officer caught

JADA LOUTOO

A PRISON officer who tried to smuggle marijuana hidden in a juice box into the Maximum Security Prison (MSP), Arouca, two days before Christmas Day back in 2010, was last week fined $40,000 by an Arima magistrate.

Darryl Hector was found guilty by senior magistrate Indrani Cedeno of being in possession of marijuana and prohibited items. He was fined $20,000 on each charge, and given three months to pay or face jail if he does not.

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According to evidence, presented by State attorney Charmaine Samuel at Hector’s trial, police went to the MSP where a supervisor showed them a one-litre Orchard apple juice drink pack in which Hector hid 83 grammes of marijuana.

He also tried to smuggle into the prison, three cell phone chargers, a cell phone, marijuana wrapping paper, two lighters and ten packs of Broadway cigarettes. When confronted by police, Hector told them, “Boss that is not mine.” He was arrested and charged with WPC Boyce of the Arouca police station.

In her address to the magistrate, Samuel urged Cedeno to impose a sentence which will serve to deter other prison officers so minded to smuggle contraband items into prison. She said that in the last three weeks, five prison officers have been charged with similar offences.

Last week, Prison Commissioner Gerard Wilson confirmed that 12 prison officers have been arrested for the year for attempting to smuggle contraband items into the prisons. He said a zero tolerance approach was being taken by prison authorities and warned his officers that if they break the law, they will be caught and charged.

Recently, a ban was placed on visitors taking fruits into the prison after two people were held with apples and grapefruit containing marijuana. Hector was represented by attorney Randall Raphael and the magistrate ordered that the marijuana be destroyed by police.

Source: Newsday https://newsday.co.tt/2018/12/16/40000-fine-for-smuggling-ganja/

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