Short sentence for marijuana-smuggling prison guard
A prison officer lost his job and freedom yesterday after admitting that he intended to smuggle 11 ounces of marijuana to “someone in the prison”.
Antonio Harrison D. Cash, 27, of Doyle Street, was arrested after his superiors found the drugs on him during a search when he reported for duty on October 5.
Now Cash, an officer of two years, will serve three months in the same institution.
He will spend an additional three months if he fails to pay a $2,000 fine.
Cash pleaded guilty to a charge of marijuana possession with intent to supply at his arraignment before Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain.
According to prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Clifford Daxon, police officers found the Indian hemp in Cash’s sock when they searched him under suspicion of smuggling the drugs.
Cash was also expected to be charged with possession of amphetamine with intent to supply.
However, attorney Ian Cargill, who represented Cash, argued that the charge was not applicable, as Cash was in possession of Tylenol, an over-the-counter drug.
Swain asked the prosecution to confirm the substance, but Daxon was unable to do so.
The judge advised that the substance would be tested.
As Cash stood before the judge with his pregnant wife sitting in the gallery behind him, the court heard that the former prison officer was the provider for his family, had no previous criminal record, no matters before the court, and he had lost his job and benefits.
Cargill made the case that Cash had been punished enough and requested that he receive a non-custodial sentence.
He acknowledged that his client was “placed in a particular position” of authority, but asked the judge not to make an example of Cash and treat him like an ordinary citizen.
Cash’s wife cried throughout the proceedings and at one point had to be escorted out of the courtroom.
She returned within minutes, but lost composure once again.
Additionally, Cargill asked that the former prison officer not be placed in the general population of the Department of Correctional Services, but Swain indicated that she had no control over that.
Outside the Nassau Street court complex following the sentencing, Cash’s wife and relatives celebrated the short sentence.