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Jamaican sentenced to 10 years in Antigua

Jamaican sentenced to 10 years in Antigua

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ST JOHN’S – The authorities in Antigua and Barbuda have sentenced a Jamaican man to 10 years in prison on drug related charges.

The police report that Everton Pinnock was convicted on three drug related offences following a drug case in July 2020 when Pinnock, who was then 55 and another man, Patrick Burrell, 49,  were jointly charged with possession of 59.75 pounds of cannabis, drug trafficking and importation of cannabis.

The controlled substance was found in vacuum-sealed packages hidden inside television boxes which were in a container addressed to Burrell.

Pinnock was reportedly working for and living with Burrell at the time of the offence, however, the charges against Burrell were subsequently dropped due to a lack of evidence against him.

But Pinnock’s matter made to the High Court where he stood trial before Justice Stanley John.

In his testimony, Pinnock, now 56, claimed that the drugs were sent to him in a barrel by his nephew, but he was not informed until it had been sent.

At some point he introduced Burrell to his sister who lives in the United States and she began sending items to him.

Pinnock claimed that on one of the occasions his nephew called him and told him he had sent some weed in a barrel and it was in transit.

His police statement also indicated that he had spoken to his nephew in an earlier conversation and told him that he knew someone from whom he sourced weed.

The accused’s lawyer Wendel Robinson’s main argument in closing was that Pinnock did not arrange for the drugs to be sent, but was told about the dispatch after the fact.

The prosecution rebutted saying that the very fact that Pinnock admitted that the drugs belonged to him and were sent to him is enough to convict.

Justice John agreed that there was enough evidence to convict the father-of-seven, and whether or not he was told of the drugs after they were already sent was of no consequence.

In delivering the sentence, the judge said that the Jamaican embarked upon a plan with the aid a relative in the United States to import a large quantity of cannabis into Antigua and Barbuda.

The judge said the charge of possession of the controlled drug carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

He however used six years as his starting point and went down to four years and six months upon considering the convict’s previous good character.

For importing the drugs, the adjudicator’s starting point was eight years out of a possible 10-year sentence, and five years and six months was his final decision in relation to that charge having considered the aforementioned factor.

As it relates to drug trafficking, Pinnock was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and was also fined EC$50,000 which will result in an additional 15 months being added if he fails to pay the fine. Drug trafficking carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The sentences will run concurrently. (CMC)