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Court of Appeal upholds drug conviction

The Court of Appeal on Monday rejected a bid by a man who was caught transporting 42.2 pounds of marijuana with his two-year-old son in the car, to have his conviction and sentence overturned.

Magistrate Samuel McKinney convicted Demetrio Rolle of drug possession with intent to supply last November and sentenced him to 18 months in prison in addition to a $5,000 fine. If Rolle doesn’t pay the fine by the end of his sentence, he will spend six more months in prison.

Acting on information, officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit stopped Rolle as he drove his Honda coupe along Carmichael Road on February 2, 2021. The officers reported smelling the strong scent of marijuana coming from the car before they discovered the drugs inside a generator box in the back seat next to the toddler.

Rolle’s lawyer, Philip Hilton, argued that the drugs belonged to Rolle’s cousin, Winston Gibson, to whom he was giving a ride. Gibson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

However, Court of Appeal President Sir Michael Barnett said that Rolle noted that it was possible to be in possession of something you did not own.

In delivering the court’s decision, Barnett said, “We have read the evidence. We have read the ruling of the magistrate and we are satisfied that there is no basis upon which we can overturn this conviction.

“We are satisfied that the finding of the magistrate that the appellant was in possession of those drugs with intent to supply is sound and there is no basis to overturn it.”

Linda Evans was the prosecutor.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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