Two Trinidad and Tobago nationals have been sentenced to more than two years in jail after they were found guilty of trafficking marijuana with an estimated street value of BDS$744,600 (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents).
Anton James and Kyrsten Trim of Tobago, were jailed by Justice Randall Worrell in Barbados on Tuesday and their sentences of 1,182 and 1,002 days imprisonment is the remainder of a 12-year starting sentence imposed for trafficking 193.65 kilogrammes or 426.92 pounds of cannabis on February 15, 2021.
James and Trim were convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the offences of possession and importation of the illicit drug.
“This is a matter that can only be dealt with by way of a custodial sentence. It is quite clear [given] the excessive amount of drug. I don’t think a starting point of 12 years is unreasonable given the quantity,” Justice Worrell added.
The court deducted three years from the 12-year starting sentence for mitigating factors and another three years for their guilty pleas, leaving them with six years.
The accused men were also credited with 828 days they had already spent on remand at Dodds Prison and had another 180 days deducted given the two-year delay which it took for the matter to be adjudicated.
Given that James admitted he was the mastermind of the enterprise, he will spend the next 1 182 days in jail. Trim, meanwhile, was given a further deduction of 180 days from his 1 182 days as he is said to have played a more subordinate role.
Both men were told to participate in vocational and educational programmes available at the prison.
Justice Worrell said the court had looked at imposing fines on the Tobagonians but there was nothing to indicate they could pay.
The court heard that officers from the Drug Squad and the Coast Guard, acting on a tip-off, on February 15, 2021, encountered a vessel with registration number TFT-208, bearing the name Swamp Dog. In the presence of both men, the vessel was searched, and 10 polythene bags containing the drugs were discovered.