A Mt. Parnassus resident who pleaded guilty to three counts of drug related charges, has been ordered to pay seventeen thousand, five hundred dollars in six months or spend two years behind bars.
Richard Steele, no stranger to the court having had six previous convictions with the most recent a fine of fifteen thousand dollars, was sentenced by Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the number one Magistrate Court in St George’s last Friday.
Steele who was represented by attorney-at-law Francis Paul was facing one count of trafficking and two counts of possession of the banned drug marijuana.
According to evidence coming from the court, Steele was arrested by police after a raid on his property unearthed three portions of Cannabis the largest being twenty-two pounds. The evidence went on to say that when cornered by the police Steele attempted to get rid of the drug, but failed, as the lawmen retrieved the illegal item and subsequently arrested and charged him.
In seeking leniency for his client, defense counsel Francis Paul hinted to the court that his client now recognizes that he can no longer be paying large sums of money to the court but instead needs to be a role model to his child and has therefore made the conscious step to turn his life around.
In the circumstance, Paul asked that Steele be given the opportunity to prove himself by not imposing a custodial sentence. Although Magistrate Gill dubbed his circumstances ideal for a custodial sentence he was given a final opportunity to get it right.
On the count of trafficking 22 lbs of marijuana Steele was fined $15,000.00 to be paid in six months, in default two years in prison; on the second count of possession of 1lb of marijuana he was fined $2,000.00 to be paid in 6 months or in default spend twelve months in prison and on the count of possession of 12 grams of Marijuana he was fined $500.00 in six months or six months in prison.
The magistrate also ordered that the drug confiscated in the arrest be destroyed.