A fisherman from St Thomas has been fined more than $2,000 and will spend 30 days at Her Majesty’s Prison for illegal entry, possession of 29 grams of cannabis, and importation of a controlled drug.
Gerard Hilaire was sentenced after pleading guilty to all three charges when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo on Wednesday.
Magistrate DaBreo imposed a total fine of $1,500 both drug-related offences. That fine carries a default sentence of 60 days in prison.
For illegally entering the BVI, Hilaire will spend a total of 30 days at the adult penitentiary in Balsam Ghut. He was also fined $1,000 for the said offence and will spend another two months at the prison if that fine is not paid.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that on September 6, members of the Police Marine Unit were on sea patrol when they noticed a white vessel.
The boat was kept under surveillance and later signalled to stop. A subsequent search of the vessel uncovered the drugs and approximately $3,800 cash.
Hilaire, the offender, told authorities that the drugs were for his personal use.
When probed about his illegal entry, Hilaire reportedly said he had recently purchased the vessel and was testing it. He claimed he had no intention of going on land.
He was later arrested and charged.
Meanwhile, a subsequent court hearing is to be held on September 25 to determine whether the offender’s $3,800 cash is to be forfeited to the territory.
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