Siparia Magistrate Margaret Alert yesterday granted $1 million bail each to two policemen who appeared before her charged with possession of illegal firearms and ammunition as well as trafficking in marijuana.
Alert, who presided in the First Court, granted Constables Stephen Johnson, 28, and Toola Jack, 25, $1 million bail each to be approved by a clerk of the peace. Johnson of St Barbs, Laventille has four years’ service while Jack of Gonzales, Belmont has five years’ service. Both were last posted to Port of Spain Division.
They are charged with possession of three unlicensed firearms and possession of 54.3 kilos of compressed marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. They were arrested last week Tuesday in South Oropouche. The illegal weapons and four crocus bags filled with marijuana were found inside the marked police SUV, both accused officers were in.
Sgt Durga of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau laid the charges. The two appeared in the PoS Magistrates Court earlier this week and the cases transferred to the Siparia courts. Yesterday, court prosecutor Sgt Starr Jacob informed Magistrate Alert that the marijuana has an estimated street value of $733,000. Jacob also showed exhibits to the court.
The accused policemen were not called on to enter any pleas as all charges were laid indictably. The prosecutor made no objection to bail being granted but asked that both accused policeman surrender their passports to the court.
Attorney Ian Brooks who represents the two said that while Jack is the holder of a passport, the co-accused is not. Brooks held for Daryl Worrell, Jack’s attorney and told the court that the accused men have no previous convictions or pending court matters.
As a condition to the bail, Jack must sur render his passport to the court as well as report to the Besson Street Police Station on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6 am and 6 pm. They are to reappear on October 25.
At the PoS court hearing Johnson had an additional charge of unlawful possession of ten rounds of ammunition after they were found during a search of the accused man’s house in Laventille. On this charge, Senior Magistrate Nanette Forde-John granted Johnson $45,000 bail to be approved by a clerk of the peace with a cash alternative of $20,000. She adjourned this matter to October 24 when he is expected to reappear in the Port of Spain courthouse.