Three employees at the Water and Sewerage Authority's (WASA) sub-office, Rapsey Street, St Clair, were arrested yesterday morning after police and WASA police staged a dramatic morning search of the WASA compound.
According to police reports the three daily paid employees were each held with a quantity of marijuana when officers converged on the area following a tip-off that there were guns on the premises.
No guns were discovered following the two-hour search where each employee, including security guards, were physically searched along with their vehicles and surrounding areas. Police found 30 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 200 grams of marijuana and five grinders used to clean marijuana before smoking.
Police said the bulk of the marijuana along with the grinders were found "in a common place" while the three men–aged 35, 42 and 49–were found with drugs either on them or in their vehicles. The trio were taken to the St Clair Police Station where they were questioned and are expected to appear in court today charged with marijuana possession.
When the T&T Guardian visited the sub-station, which pumps water throughout parts of St James, Maraval and St Clair, one employee said police had conducted a thorough search, frisking everyone entering the compound.
Other employees were cautious of the cameras around and were concerned that being photographed or videotaped could lead to them being dismissed. Employees said they were not in the right frame of mind to continue working and were awaiting confirmation from their superiors to leave work for the day.
Ammo hidden in bushes
The station employs close to 140 workers most of whom are assigned to crews that conduct road restoration works for the northwest region.
"They get weed and bullets, they didn't get any magazine or firearms, that was about it. It was the dogs that find the ammunition in bushes," one employee said adding:
"The employees know that the officers will come back because of the ammunition that they find. So right now the mood is everybody on their Ps and Qs because a lot of people in there does do drugs."
The employee, who did not want to be identified, added: "Some of the them have matters before the courts. Everybody shaken up so they don't know what will happen. The atmosphere is a little tense now."
A release from WASA stated that the exercise began at approximately 7.25 am and restricted the movement of staff at the facility until 9.15 am. The release added that WASA was aware of the planned exercise and their Security Services Department would be lending support to the police as requested. WASA officials said following the police raid work resumed as normal.
Three daily paid Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) employees, including two brothers were fined a total of $11,000 after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana. Siblings Mc Kasie and Kareem Springer, ages 39 and 34 respectively, both of Espanol Street , Covigne Road, Diego Martin along with Lincoln Garcia, of Bourgh Mulatrasse, Lower Santa Cruz, each pleaded guilty when they appeared before Adia Mohammed in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court. The older Springer was fined $5,000 while his brother was fined $1,000 less. Garcia was fined $2,000. Police recovered SEVEN not five grinders, a 9mm pistol, a scale and a pile of cash on the compound as well. The exercise was conducted by members of the Port-of-Spain Task Force, Criminal Investigation Department and the K9 Unit. Further inquiries with respect to the gun find will continue by officers attached yo the St Clair Police Station.