Jason Lamont Batson was given six months in which to pay the court $10 000, or he will have to spend two years in jail.
The 33-year-old carpenter, of Ivy, St. Michael pleaded guilty to five drug charges before Magistrate Douglas Frederick last month and was remanded until yesterday, when he reappeared in court.
The facts which Station Sergeant Neville Watson outlined were that a warrant was executed at Batson’s home on September 29.
Police found two plastic bags containing cannabis atop a chest of drawers, while in the yard the lawmen also came across 18 seedlings ranging from two to eight inches in height, growing in a plant pot.
Additionally they found three four-feet plants in the yard, weighing four pounds in total.
Mitigating on behalf of Batson, attorney-at-law Dennis Headley said that his client had “accepted responsibility early for these transgressions” and asked the court “to show mercy” on Batson.
Headley asked the court to take into consideration that the quantity was not “a high amount in terms of poundage or value”.
He added that the convicted man is a father of two who supported his children and had been gainfully employed as a carpenter for the last seven years. Batson also coached football to children in the Ivy area, he said.
However Magistrate Douglas Frederick queried why Batson “keeps getting into drug matters”.
The magistrate then referred to the fact that Batson had already been fined by other magistrates $10 000, $5 000 and another $500 for drugs. “So the question is where does this stop?” Frederick said.
The lawyer asked the court to consider the Penal Reform Act, but the magistrate felt that “if he (Batson) has already been fined, the court has to run out of those options at some point. Are you going to put another fine on a fellow like him?” Frederick asked.
Headley responded that going forward, should Batson not “adhere to this court, then he’s on his own.”
“Your history shows you have been involved in drugs habitually,” Frederick told Batson, “You can’t be doing these things and then claiming you have two children. Stop doing these things in the first place. And I hope that you won’t go and sell more drugs to get the money,” the magistrate stressed.