Fifteen months in prison for importing 15.5 kg of marijuana
At the end of July 2020, a then 27-year-old man was arrested by customs officers for importing 12.55 kilos of marijuana; the narcotics were in barrels placed in a container unloaded at the port of Philipsburg. The individual was prosecuted but acquitted by the Sint Maarten court of first instance. The prosecutor had appealed the decision; a second trial took place.
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The individual maintained his version: he was approached by someone he did not know to pick up packages at the port, packages that were shipped in his name. “I didn’t ask any more questions, because I needed the money. The people I dealt with were not people to ask questions. In fact, I knew those weren’t the right things,” he explained. “I think I went there twice with a rental car and the other times with my own car. (…) I received 100 to 200 dollars each time, 500 is the maximum I have ever received”, he specified. And it was during a delivery that the customs officers carried out a check and the arrest.
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The defense argued that customs officers did not find any drugs in the barrels at the time of the check. So they had no proof of his involvement in the importation of marijuana.
For the court of appeal, the individual was aware of what he was doing insofar as he agreed to give his contact details for the marijuana to be shipped. He monitored the arrival of the container and was in contact with the shipping company.
The court then found the individual guilty of importing 12.55 kg of marijuana and sentenced him to 21 months in prison, six months of which were suspended. She specified that these six months could be revoked later by a judge because the author of the facts committed this offense before the end of a probationary period of three years.
Categories: Marijuana St Maarten
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