[www.inewsguyana.com] – American citizen, Jermaine Carter, was yesterday found not guilty for the offence of trafficking narcotics by City Magistrate Judy Latchman following a trial.
It was the prosecution’s case that Carter on July 4 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri, East Bank Demerara; he had had in his possession 7.057 Kilogrammes of cocaine contained in Kerrigold milk packets.
During procedural checks, his suitcases were sniffed by dogs, which detected the presence of narcotics.
On July 8, he made his appearance before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and the case was transferred before Magistrate Judy Latchman for report and fixtures.
On that day, Attorney – at – Law, Adrian Thompson, entered in appearance for the defendant. He told the Court that his client denied having any illegal substance in his suitcase and items from Carter’s suitcase were missing.
Police Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt unsuccessfully argued that Carter was in possession and had knowledge and control of the substance, since he admitted to packing the suitcase himself.
During the ruling Magistrate Latchman revealed that Carter had just married in Guyana and was destined to John F, Kennedy International Airport.
The Court heard that at that time, the defendant had two suitcases, which were only zipped up and had no padlocks. The defendant’s flight was slated for 01:10 in the morning and he managed to check in the suitcases. They were already scanned and only had to be placed in the luggage department on the plane.
Sometime later, a Police dog sniffed and reacted to what was in the defendant’s suitcases. When one of the suitcases was opened, three packets of Kerry gold milk powder were found and the other suitcase of the defendant was also opened. Once again, three packets of Kerry Gold milk powder were discovered. These packets were punctured by the dog’s handler, Special Constable Leitch and the substance suspected to be cocaine were found in the packets.
Magistrate Latchman said that while she is satisfied that cocaine was found in the defendant’s suitcases, she is not satisfied that he knew of its existence in the suitcases.
The Magistrate also took into consideration that the suitcases were without padlocks and out of the defendant’s sight for some time. As such, he was found not guilty.