Sons of senior cop on ganja charges

Two sons of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Harold Phillip have pleaded not guilty to marijuana trafficking.

Kenwyn and Kelon Phillip entered the pleas when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Debra Quintyne in the Tunapuna Magistrates Court yesterday.

During the hearing, Quintyne raised issues with the bail bonds that the siblings granted by a Justice of the Peace after their arrests last Friday.

While Quintyne did not reveal details of the bonds or her specific concerns over them, she did inquire whether the two persons, who took their bail, were present.

After being informed that they were not, Quintyne adjourned the case to tomorrow to give the brothers an opportunity to bring the individuals to court.

The siblings, ages 31 and 25, were allowed to enter pleas as the charge was laid summarily as opposed to indictably, which means that it is to be determined by a magistrate instead of by a High Court judge and jury after a preliminary inquiry.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Act, persons convicted on indictment face a $100,000 fine or up to three times the street value of the drugs (whichever is greater) and between 25 years to life in prison.

On summary conviction, persons face a $50,000 fine or up to three times the street value of the drugs (whichever is greater) and 10 years imprisonment.

Under the legislation, all drug trafficking charges are to be laid indictably.

However, section 7A of the legislation gives the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the discretion to elect to proceed with matters summarily provided that the preliminary inquiry has begun and an accused person consents.

The brothers were arrested at their home around 7 am last Friday as officers of the Northern Division Task Force (NDTF) executed a search warrant at their home at National Avenue, Mt Hope. Police allegedly found 1.5 kilos of marijuana during the search.

DCP Phillip was the Police Service Commission (PSC) second preferred candidate for the post of Commissioner of Police.

However, like top-pick DCP Deodat Dulalchan, his nomination has been rejected by Parliament, which has taken issue with the recruitment process used by the PSC.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Derek Achong)

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