The younger brother of Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, was on Thursday given the option of paying a hefty fine or being jailed for 3 years after he pleaded guilty in a Grenada Court to the charge of cocaine trafficking.
Derrick Patterson, 47, of Guyana, confessed to the crime when it was read to him by Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St George’s Court in Grenada.
Patterson was ordered to pay EC$75,000 (GYD$5.789M) or serve three years in jail, if he was unable to fund the fine.
INews had previously reported that Patterson, was visiting Grenada and residing at Captain Harris apartments in Grand Anse, St George.
However, on May 2, 2018, officers attached to the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) intercepted a vehicle travelling in the vicinity of Springs in which Derrick Patterson was the driver.
The vehicle was searched and the drugs – a total of 2.325kgs of cocaine, worth approximately $232,500- were found inside of a plastic bag.
Meanwhile, back in Guyana, the Public Infrastructure Minister made a public statement noting that if his brother is found culpable of the offence, he will have to bear the brunt of his actions.
“Our position is that Derrick [Patterson] is a matured adult of 47 years and he must bear full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Neither I nor any other member of my family can take responsibility for his own, deliberate actions,” the Minister said in a public statement made on Facebook.
The Minister further explained that his family’s initial reaction at the news was that of shock, and while they remain deeply distressed and concerned, there is some hope that the law enforcement officials in Grenada may have made a mistake.
Nevertheless, he emphasised in his post that his younger brother must face the consequences if he is found guilty in the court of law.
“We have no reason to believe that he will not be treated fairly by the Grenadian legal system. As a family, we will give him all support we legally can, but we will not condone any proven illegal conduct,” he said.
Moreover, Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, had later called on Government to have a full scale investigation launched in Guyana to ensure that ‘our security was not compromised,’ given that the accused in a family member of a Government Minister and would have been granted certain “VIP treatment.”
“This is where the Government should launch a full investigation into it since this is a clean Government that doesn’t tolerate drug dealing” he had stated.