A Penal man caught with 14 rocks of cocaine close to the Balmain Presbyterian School on Monday was fined $5,000 today.
Junior Matthews, 45 of Penal Rock Road, Penal appeared before Magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran in the Couva Magistrates Court today charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
He was represented by attorney Shiva Boodoo.
Matthews pleaded guilty to the charge that on Monday 18 June, he had in his possession 14 rocks of cocaine, weighing 6.5 grammes, while within 500m of the Balmain Presbyterian School.
Matthews was arrested by PC Seecharan of the Central Division Task Force during a roadblock.
Police prosecutor Sgt Ranjitsingh said around 10.30am Seecharan saw Matthews walking along the roadway, stopped him and searched a green knapsack he was carrying at the time.
Seecharan found the drugs wrapped in a black plastic bag inside the knapsack.
In court, Ramsaran asked Matthews whether he was selling the cocaine or using it.
Through his attorney, Matthews said it was for his personal use and he admitted to being addicted to it.
Boodoo told the court that Matthews is a labourer with the Ministry of Agriculture in Penal and is in a common law relationship.
He said Matthews has one conviction for possession of marijuana in 2017 where he was ordered to pay a fine by a Siparia Magistrate. Boodoo said Matthews was in Couva completing a construction job when he was held.
Ramsaran fined Matthews $5,000 and ordered him to $3,000 forthwith and the remainder within two weeks or serve nine months hard labour.