A Mexican visitor had to part with $350 when he appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on a drug charge today.
Guillermo Adolfo Herrerias Morales, 28, from Mexico City, pleaded guilty to possession of a small quantity of cannabis as well as apparatus for the misuse of the illegal substance.
Morales arrived in the county with his family yesterday, on board the Adventure of the Sea cruise ship. The court heard that he was on the high seas to celebrate the New Year and his acceptance into Harvard.
The police prosecutor Sergeant Neville Reid said Morales took part in the typical tourist activities, including touring the island, and was preparing to embark the ship when he was searched by security.
He was found in possession of a three-inch glass pipe containing the marijuana. He was handed over to police and he admitted to purchasing the drug at Brownes Beach for US$5.
Morales’ attorney Mohia Ma’at, in pleading for leniency for his client, told the No. 1 Criminal Court presided over by Magistrate Douglas Frederick that Morales had not wasted the court’s time and the quantity of drugs was not large. He argued that his client was in a “tropical paradise” and decided that he would further enjoy his time by smoking the drug which “was a wrong choice and he knows it now”.
Following Ma’at’s submissions, Magistrate Frederick told Morales, who has since missed the St Lucia leg of the cruise, that cannabis was illegal in the country and dabbling in such would land him in court, “which not only inconvenienced you but must have been very embarrassing”.
The visitor, who was scheduled to fly to St Lucia at 5 p.m. today to meet the ship, was then ordered to pay the court costs in the sum of $350 forthwith for possession of the illicit drug, with an alternative of a week in prison. The fine was paid.
He was reprimanded and discharged on the apparatus charge.