Two men slapped with Trafficking and Importation of marijuana, following a raid on their vehicle during a stop and search in the town of Gouyave last Tuesday have been placed on $150,000.00 bail each.
Rylon Gunpot,34 from the village of Corinth in St. David and Michael Marrast, 42 from Upper St. John’s St Andrew were both admitted to bail last Friday by Magistrate Nevelyn John presiding at the Gouyave Magistrate Court in St John’s despite strong objections from prosecution that cited the strength of their case, the quantity of drug involved and likely penalty if found guilty, as among the reasons why the men should not be granted bail.
The men were arrested after officers attached to the Drug Squad intercepted the vehicle in the Town of Gouyave last Tuesday and discovered some 576 pounds of the banned drug marijuana.
According to the prosecution at the court on Friday, last Tuesday’s catch carried a street value of $1,299, 564.00
During their brief stint at the court on Friday the men’s attorneys; Gunpot represented by defense lawyer Anselm Clouden and Marrast represented by Andre Thomas, brought to the court’s attention several reasons why their clients should be granted bail, among them the fact that their clients are presumed innocent until proven otherwise, the charges for which they appeared are mere allegations and therefore to have them placed in prison awaiting trial would amount to a punishment.
After a lengthy period of legal exchange from both sides, the men were admitted to bail, in the sum of $150,000.00 with two sureties. Magistrate John, however, made it clear that the sureties must not be a family member and must be someone without a criminal record.
Also attached to the bail were a number of conditions. In the case of Marrast, he is to surrender all travel documents and report to the Hermitage Police Station twice weekly. Gunpot on the other hand also needs to surrender his travel documents and report to the St David’s Police Station twice weekly.
Both men face a maximum life in prison if found guilty on the trafficking charge, in addition to seven years or $ 500,000.00 or both on the charge of importing.