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Jamaican jailed in $1.4 million marijuana seizure

  • A police officer escorts Geoffrey Griffin (right) out of court yesterday.

  • A police officer escorts Gothileb Patrick (right) out of court yesterday. PHOTOS: Ahvia J. Campbell

  • Police officers escort Taze Turnquest (center) out of court yesterday.

Guardian Senior Reporter

Published: May 19, 2017

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A Jamaican man caught in a $1.4 million marijuana bust off of the Ragged Island chain was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison.

Gothileb Patrick, 56, of Clarendon, Jamaica, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to import marijuana, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to supply, marijuana importation, and possession of marijuana with intent to supply at his arraignment before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes.

Patrick was one of three men arrested by Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers who were patrolling near Cay Lobos on May 15.

While on patrol, the crew of the HMBS Rolly Gray saw a vessel that was stationary in the water, the prosecutor Superintendent Ercel Dorsett told the court.

The officers boarded the boat and seized 38 bales of marijuana with a combined weight of 1,452 pounds, the court heard.

Patrick admitted transporting the drugs from Jamaica and said he was promised $2,000.

His lawyer, Moses Bain, said that Patrick had 10 children, six of whom were dependents and three of whom were in primary school.

Forbes told Patrick that he could have lost his life during the “hazardous trek” from his homeland.

Forbes said, “You ought to have known better. With six children to feed, what would have happened if the vessel sank? You put yourself above those six children.”

Patrick's alleged Bahamian co-conspirators, Geoffrey Griffin, 45, of Lowe Sound, Andros, and Taze Turnquest, 42, of Mackey Street, New Providence, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They have been remanded into custody as the magistrate lacks jurisdiction to grant bail for the offenses; however, they were advised of their right to seek bail in the Supreme Court.

The men return to court for trial on October 4.

Bain represents Griffin and Jomo Campbell represents Turnquest.

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