In the space of a day, Prison Officer Delroy Barr transitioned from a guard to an inmate at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Barr, a corrections officer for three years, was on Tuesday, June 23 sentenced to 15 months in prison for drug crimes.
Officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) went to the prison on June 22 after they were called in by internal affairs, the court heard.
After finding under three ounces of marijuana secreted in an electrical appliance box in the maximum-security block, DEU officers found more drugs inside Barr’s car and home.
In total, DEU officers seized 14 ounces of marijuana.
At his initial appearance before Deputy Chief
Magistrate Andrew Forbes, Barr pleaded guilty to one count of possession of dangerous drugs and possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply in respect to each seizure.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Lincoln McKenzie, said that Barr told the officers that a man, whom he met at a grocery store, had paid him $500 to take drugs to an inmate.
The officers found $401 on Barr, which was seized as the proceeds of crime. However, Barr told the officers that he had already spent the money the man had paid him.
In his plea in mitigation, attorney McKell Bonaby asked the court to consider sentencing Barr to probation. He said the offence was out of character for Barr and that he had taken responsibility for his actions.
However, the magistrate said that the Court of Appeal had quashed a probation order for a prison officer caught with just six grams of marijuana and substituted a one-year prison sentence.
Addressing the court himself, Barr apologized and begged the court for leniency.
However, Forbes said the law enforcement officer had willingly engaged in a criminal enterprise.
He said, “The defendant’s behavior is one the court does not countenance.”