Chester DeVere Brewster has nine months in which to come up with $75,000 or he will have to spend six years in jail as the alternative.
That fine was imposed today by Justice Randall Worrell after Brewster pleaded guilty in May 2013 to three counts: possession of 23 rounds of ammunition, possession of 5.67 kilogrammes of cocaine and trafficking the drugs.
The contraband was found at his Lakes Folly, St Michael home when police executed a search warrant there on April 6, 2002. Brewster was fined for trafficking the cocaine, along with a further $1,000 for having the bullets. That money is payable in six months or he faces a six-month jail term. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the count of possession.
In determining sentence, Justice Worrell said he considered Brewster’s age at the time of the offence, that he had cooperated extensively with police, that the matter was old and that he had nothing recorded against him since then.
The judge said the other considerations were that Brewster’s employers had promoted him since, had been willing to come to the court and speak on his behalf and had described him as an excellent worker.
Based on those things, “the court will give you a chance by not imposing a custodial sentence” but he warned Brewster that the fine could not be a small one, given the seriousness of the offences.
Previously, Brewster’s attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens asked the court not to incarcerate her client who she said was “an ideal candidate for a fine”.
Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts agreed, but added that the “penalty should be one which would cause him not to grace these doors again on a similar charge”.