Youth charged with ganja possession ordered to enroll in drug treatment programme

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Following his arraignment before Magistrate Sherdell Isaacs, where he pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking on February 1, 2021, Antone Hoppie, 22, reappeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday for his probation hearing.

The probation report presented to the court detailed that the young man grew up with his father after his parents had separated. However, he now resides with his mother and her husband.

The young man was recently employed in March 2020, as a fisherman and had been earning approximately $140,000 monthly.

The report noted that persons in his community would have expressed shock at the young man’s involvement with the law, since they all knew him as a quiet person.

In addition, it was documented that the man’s current supervisor explained to the probation officer that he is a hardworking person who is always focused.

Hoppie told his probation officer that since he works at sea, he buys marijuana to take onboard the vessel for his personal use. He further explained that he does not sell the illicit substance.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Isaacs amended the man’s charge to “possession of narcotics” since she explained that the facts provided by the Police prosecutor are incoherent.

According to the prosecution, on the day in question, the man was standing at a stall in Stabroek Market along with a group of people. Acting on information received, the Police conducted a search on the young man during which a Ziploc bag containing 70 grams of ganja was found in a blue haversack belonging to him.

Based on recommendations provided by the probation officer, Hoppie has been ordered to join the Georgetown Public Hospital (GHPC) drug treatment programme and to engage in a Board of Industrial Training (BIT) programme for the next two months.

Hoppie is set to return to court on April 12, 2021.