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Antiguan man gets nine months for ganja, fined $36,600

Saturday, September 15, 2012    

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AN Antiguan man was on Thursday slapped with a nine-month sentence for attempting to smuggle ganja.

Granville Thomas, who pleaded guilty to possession of, dealing in, and taking steps to export ganja in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, was also fined $36,600. If he fails to pay the fine, he will have to spend a further six months in prison.

He was held at the Norman Manley International Airport on September 9 with the 3.8 pounds of ganja in his suitcase.

He was ordered to pay $6,100 or serve three months in prison on the possession charge and $30,500 or six months on the attempting to export charge. The other charge was admonished and discharged.

On Thursday, Thomas' attorney begged Magistrate Georgianna Fraser not to impose a custodial sentence on her client but fine him and send him home.

But the magistrate refused, insisting that she has to dispense the same penalty that a Jamaican would have gotten in Antigua.

"I will just be as courteous to him as they would have been to us," she said. "I will just give him room and board before sending him on his way."

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