Government employee, Joel Vanterpool of Towers has been fined $5,500 and given a suspended prison sentence for drug possession.
Vanterpool was charged with possession of 27.5 grams of cocaine and possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another.
The fine is to be paid by June 11 or in default, Vanterpool will spend six months at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut. As for the suspended sentence, Vanterpool was slapped with nine months imprisonment, which Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo suspended for one year.
This effectively means the drug offender will only serve that nine-month sentence if he commits a crime within the next 12 months.
I am sorry
Addressing the court on Tuesday, Vanterpool said he was filled with remorse for this actions.
“I would like to apologize to you, to my country and the court. I was going through a hard time,” he said.
He then pleaded with the court to allow him the opportunity to provide for his family as he is the primary breadwinner.
In giving her rationale for the sentence, Magistrate DaBreo said the aims of sentencing must be met because there must be a deterrence for perpetrators.
What prosecutors say happened
The court heard that about 4:40 pm on November 3, 2017, police reportedly observed the accused driving a heavily tinted vehicle in the Port Purcell area of Tortola.
Law enforcers reportedly signalled to Vanterpool to stop, to which he complied.
A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered a transparent plastic bag with cocaine and a quantity of dime bags on the front passenger seat, the court was told.
Vanterpool was arrested and brought to the Road Town Police Station. While there, he was invited to conduct an interview, but he refused.
Attorney-at-law Leroy Jones represented Vanterpool.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.