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Westmoreland police sergeant found guilty on ganja charges

Published:Monday | December 3, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Westmoreland police sergeant Christopher McDaniel was today found guilty of possession, dealing and trafficking in ganja.

Senior Parish Judge Sheron Barnes has put off sentencing in the Lucea Parish Court, Hanover until January 29 next year.

The judge has ordered a social enquiry report for McDaniel.

When the trial began in June this year, Ronald Dell who was charged jointly with the policeman, pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of ganja, taking steps to export ganja and trafficking in ganja.

Dell was today sentenced today to $15,000 or six months imprisonment for possession of ganja and $500,000 or 12 months for dealing.

The Crown, represented by Clerk of the Courts Gairy Reid, led evidence that in July 2017, a truck driven by the police sergeant was intercepted in Green Island, Hanover.

The truck contained 48 knitted bags with ganja weighing a total of 2,445 pounds.

Investigations by Detective Inspector Shawn Barnett led to the cop and the other men being charged.

In an unsworn statement, McDaniel said he had no knowledge that ganja was in the truck which belonged to his brother-in-law.

He said too that he was called to assist in driving the truck for someone who could not manage the vehicle's clutch.

Attorney-at-law H. Charles Johnson who is representing McDaniel, had asked the judge to free McDaniel because there was no evidence that he had knowledge of the contents in the truck.

But Reid argued that four police witnesses gave credible and unchallenged evidence of McDaniel's guilt.

The charge of taking steps to export ganja was withdrawn for both McDaniel and Dell as the judge said she did not find any proof.

A third man Tyee Kameka was charged jointly with Dell and McDaniel but he was freed in June this year after his lawyer Sheldon Campbell made a no case submission which was upheld by the judge.

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